Ever wanted to be a philanthropist? Well, the scale of big spenders like the Bill Gates and Warren Buffett may be beyond your reach, but on May 6, you can join millions of tech-savvy charitable donors as they show what they can do for their communities.
Give Local America, celebrated in 120 communities, large and small, in 49 states, will mark the largest national day of philanthropy, a 24-hour online fundraiser to benefit local nonprofit organizations. The event is organized by Network for Good and Kimbia, which provide fundraising platforms used by many nonprofit organizations.
Give Local America celebrates the 100th anniversary of the country’s community foundations – some 750 of them – and the work they do coordinating and supporting their local charitable organizations.
“We are promoting this nationally, but the stress is on local giving,” says Kelly Garrott, Kimbia event coordinator. “We want people to be able to see the changes in their own communities, to see the impact their donations can have.”
Giving Back – Close to Home
Most events on May 6 will be under the auspices of local community foundations, which create their own websites, promotions and publicity, recruit local nonprofit organizations to become recipients, and manage donations. Donors simply go to their community foundation’s Give Local Day online page, explore the list of participating nonprofits, and make a credit card donation to the group or groups they choose on the spot. Individuals in cities without a participating foundation may also donate online.
Participating organizations represent an enormous variety of interests and vary from location to location.
“Every person in our community has been touched by a nonprofit, whether you went to a ballet performance, were born in a nonprofit hospital, or know someone who has unfortunately had to go to a food pantry,” says Rebecca Finley, communications director of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, which is hosting The Big Payback on May 6. “The nonprofits that serve Middle Tennessee are just outstanding, and this is our chance to pay them back for the great work they do.”
The Big Payback will benefit 530 local nonprofits in 30 Tennessee counties. Participating organizations include those concerned with human services, the arts, historic preservation, the environment and health. Civic organizations, schools and religious organization are all able to take part.
Giving Impacts Variety of Causes
In Dubuque, Iowa, Great Give Day on May 6 will benefit 53 nonprofits, including the local history museum, environmental organizations, arts organizations, children’s theater, a breast cancer survivors group, many youth-serving organizations, the local community health center and the local YMCA.
“We’re all over the place, with representation from nearly every sector,” says Hillary Baker, communications director of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “They’re very excited about this event, and we are too.”
In Dubuque, as in Nashville, that excitement will be sustained through active social media buzz, promotions, parties, cash prizes to nonprofits during the course of the 24-hour campaign and a full-court press by community foundation staff and volunteers.
“Hopefully, this will inspire people to learn more about their local nonprofits,” Baker says. “You don’t have to have a lot of money to be a philanthropist – you can do a lot of good with $10 donations.”