Thursday’s midnight-to-midnight giving marathon, Give More 24!, raised $1,658,015 for Southwest Washington charities, more than any year prior. In the last 20 minutes of the all-day, online fundraiser, Give More 24! passed its $1.6 million goal set by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, the host and marketing power behind the event, which has occurred annually for six years.
Overall, 4,391 people donated to 169 different causes. The goal was to attract 4,200 individual donors.
“The most notable and inspiring result of this year was the number of people who chose to make a difference,” Jennifer Rhoads, president of the Community Foundation, said in a news release. “We’ve been seeing smaller donor increases the last couple of years, and this year our community reversed that trend by tapping into their social circles.”
Vancouver residents accounted for nearly half of all online gifts. The average gift size was $157. In total, 6,757 gifts ranging from $5 to $20,000 came in from 44 states and four countries — the farthest being Mosman, Australia.
“The friendly competition and urgency of 24 hours creates excitement that you can see and feel,” Rhoads said. “It makes giving fun and approachable, while highlighting serious community needs and the vital nonprofits that are working hard to address them.”
The Battle Ground-based North County Community Food Bank raised the most money of any organization: $96,405.
That tally reflects what was raised online through the Give More 24! website and does not include cash donations the food bank received during its fundraising events Thursday. With sights on raising money for a bigger, better building, the food bank held three events to get people aware and excited about its mission.
The nonprofit, along with Clark County Fire & Rescue cadets, kicked off the morning with a pancake feed and then held two goat yoga classes in Central Park with Barre3 Felida and three Nigerian dwarf goats from Mini Mosaic Farm. In the evening, there was an open house at the food bank.
Executive Director Liz Cerveny estimated the food bank received another $2,000 to $5,000 in off-line donations.
“I’m just truly blown away by the level of support we had going into Give More 24,” she said.
A pool of donors committed to giving $69,800 during Give More 24!. She thinks the event helps build a stronger community. By having one day of concentrated charitable giving, it promotes philanthropy and volunteerism, she said.
“Every year you think it’s outdone itself and the next year they ratchet up the bar even higher,” Cerveny said. “It’s such a big bonus for nonprofits in Southwest Washington.”
The North County Community Food Bank has been slowly raising money over the last few years for a new facility that will cost an estimated $4 million to $5 million.
“It all takes time and coordination,” Cerveny said. “But we’re persistent.”
Longview-based Lower Columbia School Gardens, which provides hands-on learning through cooking and gardening, garnered the largest number of donors, 227. (The nonprofit earned the same distinction last year.) The nonprofit raised $24,000, 141 percent of its goal. The nonprofit works with 18 elementary and middle schools in Longview and Kelso.
This was the second year people could create personal campaign pages to support their favorite nonprofit. Peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns raised more than $73,000.
New this year were business fundraisers; when people donated online they could specify that they were employees of a certain business. LSW Architects raised the most money, $14,945. Seventy-two employees with Fibre Federal Credit Union, or 31 percent of its workforce, donated money to various causes. A handful of companies created business fundraisers.
The Columbian is a media sponsor of Give More 24!.