'Tis the season of giving, for community foundations and nonprofits in Idaho, Montana and Washington, among 54 regions nationwide gearing up for a 24-hour charitable crowdfunding blitz in early May. From Seattle Foundation's sixth annual GiveBIG to Montana Community Foundation's new MTGives, giving day campaigns use a combination of fun themes, "stretch" funds and hourly prizes as incentives to attract new donors and keep them giving to a variety of causes from midnight to midnight.
Two years after Minnesota Community Foundation and Pittsburgh Community Foundation launched the first such campaigns in 2009, Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG brought the trend to the Northwest and has become the most lucrative campaign of this kind in the country, raising more than $56 million for nonprofits in Washington state since 2011.
The sixth annual GiveBIG aims to raise $20 million from 50,000 donors, midnight to 11:59 p.m. May 3. This year's campaign has partnered with Kimbia, an online fundraising and crowdfunding platform, to create a more user-friendly experience, including a shopping cart that allows for multiple donations in a single transaction. GiveBIG 2016 has also focused more on the foundation's footprint of King County, as community foundations in other parts of the state have planned their own campaigns.
Now in its third year, Kitsap Great Give has 250 nonprofits registered with a goal of raising $1.5 million on May 3, said Shaine Schramling, Kitsap Community Foundation funds and grants administrator.
Community Foundation for Southwest Washington's third annual 24-hour giving day, Give More 24, will run September 22 instead of early May. "The timing works well for our foundation's schedule, as well as for our community," explained Ellora La Shier, scholarship manager and program associate. "When exploring the timing for this event, we wanted to make sure to avoid the summer vacation and year-end giving. We were also conscious of the months where most nonprofits host their annual fundraising events. September met all those criteria for us."
Similarly, Community Foundation of North Central Washington and Orcas Community Foundation opt to hold their campaigns at other times of year, with durations longer than 24 hours. And in Alaska, the Pick.Click.Give. campaign, focused on donations from Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) payouts to state residents, has become its own season.
The eight Northwest communities hosting May 3 giving campaigns are part of the national Give Local America movement, promoted as #iGiveLocal on social media. In Montana, participants are also united through Montana Community Foundation's new MTGives.org brand; Missoula, Helena, Bozeman, the Flathead and Billings maintain their own websites and campaign hashtags, too.
After the dust settles from all these regional giving days, nonprofits and donors can look ahead to #GivingTuesday, the national-turned-global movement to kick off the holiday charitable giving season after the consumer chaos of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Launched in 2012, this year's #GivingTuesday campaign falls on November 29, 2016.
Northwest Giving Day Campaigns, May 2016
- Idaho Nonprofit Center: Idaho Gives (May 5; all others are May 3)
- Bozeman Community Foundation: Give Big Gallatin Valley
- NEW! Billings Community Foundation: Give LOCAL Yellowstone Valley Region
- Helena Area Community Foundation: Give LOCAL Helena
- Flathead Community Foundation: Give LOCAL Flathead
- Missoula Community Foundation: Give LOCAL Missoula
- NEW! Montana Community Foundation: MTGives
Nicole Neroulias Gupte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.