Day of Giving exceeds hopes and expectations

by Grant Oliphant
President and CEO

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today reported that I consider myself a “lousy prognosticator.”

And it’s true, I do.

As we approached the Day of Giving event this week, all of us at The Pittsburgh Foundation were energized and excited by the enthusiasm and feverish expectation that was building among donors and nonprofit organizations. But I had my doubts that we would raise much beyond the $6.4 million received in contributions last year.

How wrong I was. By midnight on Wednesday, contributions of had flowed into our PittsbughGives on-line giving platform over a 24-hour period, resulting in a hefty $8.4 million being raised to support our local nonprofit organizations.

It represents a 31 percent increase at a time of continuing economic uncertainty when under normal circumstances it would be perfectly justifiable to be watching the pennies. But this was not normal, even for the famed generosity of our community in this, the heartland of our nation’s philanthropy.

The results of the Foundation’s fourth annual Day of Giving were truly stunning and far beyond our hopes and expectations. The number of individual donations topped 17,700, up from the 13,600 last year.  Gifts ranged from the $25 minimum to $25,000 and we received 105 separate gifts of $10,000 or more.

And it all went into the much-needed resources of 665 nonprofit organizations in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties to support the critical work they do on behalf of us all.

To all those who made contributions, a heartfelt thank-you from all of us at the Foundation. To all the nonprofits that took part and especially excelled at engaging donors and supporters with an array of on-line marketing and awareness-building tools, thank you for a great job, well done.

Already, I’ve been hearing questions about where we go from here. I am delighted that the Day of Giving has clearly become a high point in the local philanthropic calendar for donors and nonprofits alike, and we will consult with them in deciding how we can further improve the event for 2013.

What do I think will happen next year? Betting is not my forte.



Congratulations!!!! We donated this year after reading about the Day on the National Aviary website. The sheer numbers are staggering to comprehend. Congratulations to you and your entire staff for all you do for this area.

Patrick & Karen Gulling
Poland, OH

The Pittsburgh Foundations's Day of Giving and Westmoreland Gives makes a huge difference for the small nonprofit CANDLE, Inc. and our Reality Tour Drug Prevention Program. Being connected to the Pittsburgh Foundation has many benefits. The advance training for social marketing for the Day of Giving is a help too. Also, the connection to Great Nonprofits gave CANDLE the opportunity to be in the running for an award and we made the list of Great Nonprofits for 2012! Thanks for all you do! Norma Norris, Executive Director