The Pittsburgh Foundation

#ONEDAY crowd-funding event raises record $1.67 million

PITTSBURGH, May 8, 2019 – Bolstered by a record-setting incentive pool, yesterday’s Critical Needs Alert online giving event set a new high for donations, raising $1.67 million for nonprofits in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties that provide basic needs – food, housing, physical and mental health care, child care and transportation – directly to vulnerable populations.

Between 8 a.m. and midnight yesterday, about 3,750 donations totaling about $865,000 from the public poured into the donation portal to benefit the nearly 190 nonprofits that took part in the #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert. Every donation up to $1,000 triggered additional funding from the $800,000 incentive pool from The Pittsburgh Foundation and its affiliate, The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, and their donors. This year’s incentive pool also included $62,000 dedicated to 30 Westmoreland County nonprofits, eight of which are first-time participants in Critical Needs.

The #ONEDAY Critical Needs Alert provided a way for the public to support the Foundation’s 100 Percent Pittsburgh organizing principle, which seeks to ensure that residents who live at or near the federal poverty line – at least one-third of the region’s population – have new opportunities to become full participants in the region’s improved economy.

“These record-setting donations are emblematic of how this community has embraced the       100 Percent Pittsburgh approach of neighbors stepping in to make sure that everyone’s basic needs are met,” said Maxwell King, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. “Donations like these are especially important now, when we see 30 percent of our neighbors facing poverty due to low-wage jobs, medical crises or rising housing costs. Any of these can make it nearly impossible for people to get ahead.”

The previous Critical Needs incentive and overall giving records were set in 2017 with the Foundation’s #SafetyNetPGH campaign, which raised a total of $1.3 million for Allegheny and Westmoreland county nonprofits focused on basic needs and had an incentive pool of $600,000.

Spurring such generosity is the Foundation incentive pool, which is divided among nonprofits after the giving concludes.

“The prorated incentive pool motivates giving up to the 11:59 p.m. deadline,” said Kelly Uranker, director of the Foundation’s Center for Philanthropy and manager of the Critical Needs fundraising program. “We no longer see the sudden drop-off in giving that occurred in past years when match funds were depleted. That’s the best possible outcome for nonprofits taking part.”

This year’s match pool was made up of $375,000 in grants from The Pittsburgh Foundation and $62,000 from The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and its donors, including $20,000 from a recent CFWC-hosted giving circle to benefit vulnerable populations. The previous five Critical Needs Alerts raised a total of $4.9 million, including match funds, and each targeted a specific area of need – food insecurity in 2013 and 2018, housing insecurity in 2014 and 2015, and basic needs – child care, food, housing, mental and physical health care, and transportation – in 2017 and again this year.

Also, a special campaign under the banner #LoveIsStronger raised nearly $800,000 for eight organizations assisting those affected by the Tree of Life shooting in October.

Critical Needs Alert giving events align with the Foundation’s mission of improving the quality of life in the Pittsburgh region by evaluating and addressing community issues, promoting responsible philanthropy and connecting donors to the critical needs of the community.

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Kitty Julian