The ninth-annual Grow Green Match Day fundraiser hosted by the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation will once again be totally virtual when it officially kicks off on Thursday.

Last year, with matches, donors raised more than $1.2 million, a new record, for more than 60 nonprofit organizations in the community.

“What we learned was that we have a very charitable community, and everybody understands the need to step up and help these organizations during COVID times,” said Vern Henricks, president and CEO of GMCF. “We were excited about our growth last year and (we’re) excited about what this year might be for 70 organizations again.”

Because many organizations lost opportunities to host their own fundraising events last year, GMCF swapped its distribution of donations by having 100% of community donations go directly toward the organizations and the 50% GMCF match go toward organizations’ endowed fund (long term savings) at the foundation. That change will remain in effect for the 2021 fundraiser.

Combined donations up to $20,000 will be matched at 50% for any one nonprofit, meaning it can receive a maximum of $10,000 in matched funds.

Henricks said increased need is still an issue for organizations this year as the pandemic is ongoing. He said some may be particularly worried if they can safely hold summer programs. If they can’t, he said, it will impact organizations who need those funds not only to maintain those programs but also generally keep it running and pay its staff.

“We’re excited about being able to offer this opportunity virtually to the community and the nonprofits, so it becomes a very efficient fundraising day for all,” Henricks said.

Though the 24-hour online portion of the fundraiser will not be open until midnight Thursday, Henricks said people can now mail checks to P.O. Box 1127, Manhattan, KS 66505-1127, or drop off checks to its office, 555 Poyntz Ave. Suite 269.

More information and the donation page can be found at growgreenmanhattan.com.