Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of Share the Spirit?
The Share the Spirit program is sponsored by the Bay Area News Group through the East Bay Times. The mission of Share the Spirit is to shine a light on the special needs of our community and to foster a spirit of civic philanthropy to meet those needs. Share the Spirit encourages civic philanthropy by seeking donations for disadvantaged individuals or groups and for organizations in its primary circulation area of Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California. Donations are solicited on behalf of these individuals, groups and organizations through an annual series of Share the Spirit stories that appear in the newspaper and online. This series presents a catalog of community giving that is rooted in the basic values of excellent journalism and a desire to help the less fortunate. Categories of giving include – but are not limited to – education, job training, health and welfare, youth and families, food and shelter and community resources. Sustained by generous East Bay readers, the Share the Spirit fund has been providing help and hope to East Bay residents for nearly 30 years.
How does Share the Spirit work?
Through a competitive application process, grants are awarded to local nonprofit groups to support holiday programs, critical services and outreach. During the Share the Spirit season, East Bay Times will feature stories each week beginning in late November through New Year’s Day. The stories will highlight the purpose of the nonprofit programs, individuals and families assisted by the help and hope provided. All stories will also be published on the Share the Spirit website and East Bay Times website. For nonprofits wishing to participate in the grant program, please visit the nonprofit information page.
How can I help?
With each story of help and hope in the East Bay Times, there will also be donation information in the article. Donations can be made by mail to Share the Spirit, Bay Area News Group, P O Box 2127, Dublin, CA 94568 or securely online using the “donate now” button on this site.
What is the method of assistance?
Share the Spirit does not distribute cash directly to individuals, although it can provide assistance by buying equipment, furniture, gift cards and more. The local nonprofit organizations awarded grant funds and featured in the stories use the funds to provide direct services and goods to help the featured clients and other clients like them.
Is donor information provided or sold to anyone else?
No. Every contribution is confidential and we do not provide donor names or email addresses to any outside organizations, including the organizations featured in the stories. The only time information is shared is if a donor wishes his or her name to be acknowledged in the paper.
Are contributions tax-deductible?
Yes. Donations to the Share the Spirit Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, are tax deductible. The tax ID number is 77-0229665. For making gifts, please note that both programs of the Bay Area News Group - Wish Book in the South Bay and Share the Spirit in the East Bay - are part of one nonprofit entity. Funds are not commingled. However, it is important to note that the name of the organization associated with the tax ID is "San Jose Mercury News Wish Book Fund" especially in the case of making a gift from a Donor Advised Fund or similar 3rd party giving platform. Simply designate that your gift is for Share the Spirit.
Are contributions accepted all year?
Yes. The account is open year-round. Contributions can be made online here or sent to: Share the Spirit, Bay Area News Group, PO Box 2127, Dublin, CA 94568.
Can I donate goods to Share the Spirit?
We are unable to manage donations of any type of goods, including toys, holiday food baskets, clothing, furniture, automobiles, etc. Please email [email protected] and we may be able to suggest organizations that accept such donations.
How does East Bay Times support the Share the Spirit program?
During the annual fundraising effort, East Bay Times’ reporters and photographers document the challenges and celebrate the successes facing individuals, families and nonprofit organizations in our community. These stories are published in the East Bay Times and on its website. The paper publishes lists of contributors and coupons advising readers how to contribute, as well as ads throughout the paper and online to further encourage readers to help their neighbors in need. The Share the Spirit Fund also manages the grant-making application process, distribution of donated funds to the grant qualified nonprofit organizations, processes readers’ donations, maintains the nonprofit accounting and reporting, and provides all donors with tax receipts in a timely manner.
Is a part of my donation allocated to cover administrative expenses?
Share the Spirit maintains transparency on all costs that are essential to advance the mission to help as many as possible in the East Bay. The Bay Area News Group covers all printing and costs for producing the stories, and staff time. With this generous support from the Bay Area News Group, administrative costs are kept to a minimum. There are some costs to offer secure online donation option, issue tax receipts to all donors, postage, and to select and fully vet all fund recipients in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, and those costs remain around 10-15%. For 2022, ALL administrative costs will be covered by the Bay Area News Group.
Who are the recipients for 2023 grant funding?
The 2023 grant awards will be announced in October 2023. Please watch for stories in the East Bay Times beginning on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2023!
Please contact Share the Spirit at [email protected] or 925.472.5760.