Day of Giving becomes key for nonprofit fundraising
More nonprofits register for October 3 event
PITTSBURGH, Pa., Sept. 17, 2012 – The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving has become a key centerpiece for the fundraising efforts of increasing numbers of local nonprofit organizations as they strive to expand funding sources and broaden their bases of donor support.
Many nonprofits had distributed ‘save the date’ reminders to their board members, donors and supporters by early August -- two months ahead of the fourth annual 24-hour Day of Giving to be hosted by the Foundation on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.
More than 700 nonprofits based in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties are registered to take part in this year’s event, up from the 654 charities that participated in 2011. The Foundation aims that its PittsburghGives on-line program will raise over $7 million for the region’s nonprofits this year, topping the $6.4 million in total contributions received in 2011.
“The Day of Giving has become a firm fixture in the fundraising calendar for many of our nonprofit organizations, and has become especially important during a period when other funding sources have diminished or disappeared altogether,” said Grant Oliphant, the Foundation’s President and CEO.
“Our PittsburghGives program has provided much-needed help at a most critical time, and it’s not just about the money raised from the event. Nonprofits have been able to use this platform to attract new donors, creating broader and more sustainable on-going support. From the outset, this has been our primary goal for the Day of Giving.”
Participating local charities have completed and updated their profiles on the PittsburghGives site to be eligible to receive contributions from donors that will qualify for equal pro-rated shares of matching funds.
The total match pool for The Pittsburgh Foundation will be $750,000 and for the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County approximately $80,000.
Last year’s Day of Giving almost doubled the amount raised in 2010 ($3.3 million) and the number of individual contributions – 13,643 in 2011 compared with 7,778 the previous year. It took the total raised from the Foundation’s on-line giving events hosted by PittsburghGives to $13 million in two years.
Gifts were received from donors in all 50 U.S. states in last year’s Day of Giving and of the 654 charities that participated, 97 percent received credit card contributions. For one of them, Three Rivers Rowing, next month’s Day of Giving takes place just three days before the organization’s Head of the Ohio signature annual event. The competitive rowing competition attracts over 2,000 participants and is well known in the rowing community.
“With nearly 90 percent of our annual campaign donations coming on that one day, Day of Giving has become the focus of our annual campaign,” explains Rick Brown, Three Rivers Rowing Executive Director. “We are able to promote the giving event throughout the rowing community along with our race communications.”
Among new nonprofit organizations taking part in this year’s Day of Giving is the Steel Valley Trails Council which hopes to use PittsburghGives to attract new members and funds to continue the work of maintaining the Mon-Valley section of the Great Allegheny Passage, a series of trails from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, as well as building new connecting trails.
“Any size donation will help us,” said Hannah Hardy, Past-President of the organization. “Small donations can get us a new shovel and a larger donation can purchase a tractor. We need both as well as volunteers to keep the trails in great condition, and we always welcome more help. PittsburghGives is a real easy way to make a donation and support an organization.”
Another organization participating for the first time is The Hollywood Theater which has served as an anchor in the Dormont community since the 1930’s. It fell into hard times starting in the 1980’s, passing from owner to owner and eventually closing its doors. That is until a concerned group of citizens fired the projector back up in June 2011 as a nonprofit.
Margaret Jackson, Board Member of The Hollywood Theater, said: “As a small nonprofit and single screen theater, admissions alone will not keep us open. We are new to Day of Giving, but it can help us build a nest egg so that we can prepare for the inevitable like a projector bulb blowing out as well as expand our programming.”