Give More 24! raised a record $1.35 million Thursday for Southwest Washington nonprofits.
The 24-hour giving spree broke its goal of $1.2 million at 9:41 p.m., said Maury Harris of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, the event’s host.
“I think the really big thing that stood out for us as the organizers was the momentum of the day,” he said. “I think also there was just a lot more excitement and energy with our nonprofits. They did a good job getting our community excited.”
Peer-to-peer fundraisers, a new feature for the event, were successful. One person’s fundraiser attracted 27 new donors to the Lower Columbia School Gardens in Longview, Harris said. Another peer-to-peer fundraiser raised $9,150 for Family Promise of Clark County, an ecumenical nonprofit supporting homeless families that looks to open its doors this winter.
Although Give More 24! surpassed its financial goal, it fell short of getting 4,000 donors. In total, 3,692 individuals donated money to regional charities.
Harris said the Community Foundation reached out to a large list of potential donors.
“We see some people who donate every year to the event and some people who donate one year and don’t come back,” he said.
Donors raised nearly $326,000 more than last year’s effort. This was the fifth year of Give More 24!.
School raises most
Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School raised the most money overall, $82,204, and garnered the largest number of donors among large-sized nonprofits, 161.
“We are really a very small community and it’s just been totally overwhelming and humbling seeing our community come together,” said the school’s Development and Marketing Director Vikki Pynenburg.
The Vancouver school has about 255 students in preschool through eighth grade. Half of the money raised Thursday will go toward scholarships; the rest will be put toward endowment funds, Pynenburg said. She said the school’s donations were boosted by two $25,000 matching funds. Although they didn’t raise enough to get the second match — they had about $10,000 left to go — the donor said they would reopen the match for another fundraiser. Our Lady of Lourdes also won two $1,000 prizes; Pynenburg said she’s grateful for the businesses that provided them.
“People really gear their day toward (the prizes),” she said.
Parishioners, parents and even students were donating Thursday, Pynenburg said.
“I think the entire concept of having 24 hours of donating in Clark County and beyond is just phenomenal,” she said.
Education was the day’s most supported cause.
Lower Columbia School Gardens, which provides hands-on learning through cooking and gardening, garnered the largest number of donors, 212. Southwest Washington Symphony in Longview — whose concerts are free for the 2018-2019 season — raised the most among small nonprofits, $29,632. The nonprofit benefited from matching funds and celebrated at the Urban Saloon and Grill.
Mentorship program Teach One to Lead One Clark County was the most successful among medium-sized nonprofits, raising $41,835.
“Our organization will be helping so many kids in Clark County public schools with the funds we received yesterday from the community,” said Executive Director Lorna Atkins.
The mission of Teach One to Lead One, which has chapters across the country, is to help kids reach their full potential and learn respect, compassion and integrity.
The nonprofit solicited donations at Chick-fil-A, which gave 20 percent of its profits Thursday evening, Atkins said. Her husband, Sheriff Chuck Atkins, donned a cow costume to encourage donations. At the fast-food restaurant the nonprofit and its supporters met with many people who had never heard of the organization before, Lorna Atkins said.
“We had a great turnout,” she said. “I just thought it was so well-run and we’re so grateful to the Community Foundation.”