The Give More 24! annual fundraiser seemed to be on its way to reaching its $3.2 million goal by late Thursday evening. With over 6,100 donors this year and more than $3 million in donations, Give More 24! had already beat last year’s goal of $2 million.
Started by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, Give More 24! is now the largest single day of giving in the region. The 24-hour online giving event had over 200 nonprofits participating this year.
In an interview last week, Community Foundation spokesperson Maury Harris said fundraisers like Give More 24! are especially important now that typical fundraisers — auctions, festivals and concerts — are more difficult to hold because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re looking at 1½ to two years of revenue sources upended. … It really changed the way nonprofits operate and do business,” Harris said.
While most of the participating nonprofits hosted virtual events, groups such as Columbia Play Project decided to hold in-person events.
Board chair Jeanne Bennett and fellow board members Maureen Montague and Mary Sisson donned “Doug the slug” and “Bess the beaver” costumes before roaming around Esther Short Park and local shops in downtown Vancouver. Their main goal was simply to get people to have fun, and perhaps make a donation.
The two characters are the group’s mascots and help kids better understand the Columbia River, Sisson said, as she carried hula hoops through the park.
Bennett said Give More 24! increases the group’s visibility and “raises funds needed to accomplish our missions.”
Columbia Play Project has a three-phase plan for creating a children’s museum in Vancouver by 2026, but it is starting with at-home play kits and will launch a mobile children’s museum this year. The group set its goal at $10,000 and had raised over 60 percent of that by late afternoon.
Another nonprofit holding an in-person event was Community Roots Collaborative, which tied the fundraiser to the opening of its first “cottage” homes, built to help reduce homelessness in Clark County.
With six homes now complete and move-in ready, and another 17 being built, Community Roots wanted to celebrate its accomplishments and thought the fundraiser would be a good opportunity for that.
Like many nonprofits, Community Roots is dependent on volunteers and donations. The group is already looking at purchasing another site where an additional 50 to 60 homes could be built.
“We’ve had great support from the city council and other elected officials,” founder Hector Hinojosa said Thursday. But Hinojosa noted support from the community was just as important.
Community Roots set its fundraising goal at $50,000 and had received over $12,500 from 55 donors by late afternoon.
A full report on the amount raised, number of donations and prize winners will be made available soon.