The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Dec 07, 2012

Community foundations look to boost fundraising efforts with online giving days

Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Update: On Dec. 12, 2012, some 4,992 people helped raise $1.2 million for 300 nonprofits in the first ever Give Miami Day

As the year comes to an end, community foundations across the country are seeking to boost local fundraising efforts through Giving Days - 24-hour online fundraising marathons that bring communities together around causes. By better connecting donors to organizations and projects they care about, Giving Days are designed to help nonprofits reach new donors, increase giving through fun campaigns and reduce fundraising costs.

This year, Knight Foundation is seeking to help with a little research. We’re commissioning a new study to explore how future online fundraising efforts can be more effective and in particular, how to enhance community foundations’ use of digital technologies. We will share the findings next year.
Yesterday marked the first-ever online giving day in Georgia. Georgia Gives Day raised more than $780,000 for nonprofits in the state. "We have a highly-skilled nonprofit sector and compassionate residents eager to help. Georgia Gives Day connects both to help our community succeed," said Beverly Blake, Knight’s program director in Macon.

Georgia Gives Day is just one of several Knight supported online donation efforts taking place nationwide. Next Wednesday - Dec. 12, 2012 - The Miami Foundation will launch a 24-hour online donation event to allow donors to find, review and give to organizations doing the best work in the community.

Give Miami Day is designed as an easy way for people to support the causes they care about and build a greater Miami through philanthropy.

"We're excited by the prospect of new digital tools making it easier for residents to connect more deeply with non-profits in the community," said Matt Haggman, Miami program director at Knight Foundation. "By making it easier to donate online, we hope to merge people's personal passions with needs in the greater Miami area."

Earlier this fall, a program of the Saint Paul Foundation/Minnesota Community Foundation and sponsored in part by Knight Foundation, used its web platform to help nonprofits across the state reach new donors. Approximately 53,300 people helped to raise $16.3 million for 4,000 plus nonprofits across the state. This year, Springboard for the Arts, which works to cultivate a strong arts community in St. Paul, raised over $115,000 from nearly 1,400 donors.

Knight is currently supporting online giving days in other communities including Tallahassee, Fla., Gary, Ind., Lexington, Ky. and Milledgeville, Ga.

By Elizabeth R. Miller, communications associate at Knight Foundation

Related: "Engaging Minnesota donors on Give to the Max Day

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