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Supporting local art is easier than ever through FM Area Caring Catalog

Original Article - Forum

FMBallet is one of nine arts organizations in the FM Area Caring Catalog's arts, culture and creativity category. Dan Leeaphon / Special to The Forum

FARGO — Need a last-minute gift idea that will make an impact for local nonprofits but allow you to stay in your Christmas pajamas as you shop? Look no further than the FM Area Caring Catalog.

The crowdfunding website through the FM Area Foundation features 80 local nonprofits – including many arts organizations – seeking up to $5,000 for specific projects and programs. Launched in early November, the Caring Catalog gives people the ease of “shopping” online for organizations they want to support with a single transaction until Dec. 31.

As a community organization that has connected people and purpose for more than 60 years, the FM Area Foundation waives all credit card fees to ensure all donations go to the featured nonprofits. Lexi Oestreich, program officer at the foundation, says catalog is “not so much about the money” but about helping people realize “what all of these organizations are doing to make our community better.”

“The benefit of the platform is that everyone’s money is pooling together and going to make some really great things happen in our community,” Oestreich says. “Each donation matters, and collectively we can reach the goals of some of these nonprofits and kick-start them into 2019 with some additional funding for projects or programs they are trying to accomplish.”

The Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is raising money for a special storage unit to preserve paintings by Minnesota artists, like this painting, "Measure Me," by Laura Youngbird. HCSCC / Special to The Forum

The nonprofits are categorized by the foundation’s four areas of impact: arts, culture and creativity; basic needs; community building; and education. Those who are particularly passionate about supporting local art can donate to projects by several loca