Nonprofit Focus: Give More 24! aims to raise $1.6 million for area nonprofits

Southwest Washington’s sixth annual 24-hour online giving marathon is set for Sept. 19

Celebrating in Pioneer Square
Courtesy of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. Hundreds of nonprofit employees and local residents gathered for the Give More 24! Rally in Propstra Square last year. The rally will be held again this year on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 8 to 10 a.m. to kick off the online giving marathon.

The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington is gearing up for its sixth annual Give More 24! day of giving, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 19. The event runs from midnight to midnight and encourages local residents to join forces and give something more to local causes for 24 hours.

This year, nearly 170 nonprofit organizations are participating in the Give More 24! event, a list of which can be found at givemore24.org. Visitors can search and filter by cause area or location to help identify nonprofits they would like to support on the day of giving. Cause categories include interests such as animal welfare, arts and culture, education, environment, health, housing, hunger ,religion, social justice and veterans.

As the event name “Give More 24!” implies, gifts can actually give more during this 24-hour period. This is made possible thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars in matching funds provided by individuals and businesses in the community. Matching gifts benefit particular nonprofit fundraising efforts during the day, but donations must be made through the event’s website givemore24.org in order to receive the eligible match.

Additionally, $16,000 in nonprofit prizes will be up for grabs. Each of the prizes will be available during certain time periods throughout the day and are awarded based on specific goals and random drawings. Details about prizes and criteria can be found on the website as well at givemore24.org/prizes.

Maury Harris, senior communications officer with the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, said the Give More 24! event offers a new feature this year for businesses in Southwest Washington.

“Give More 24! Business Fundraisers provide businesses with a turnkey solution for engaging employees in local giving,” Harris said. “It’s also a great mechanism for promoting community involvement.”

The new feature on givemore24.org allows businesses that serve Southwest Washington to create a unique page to serve as a “one-stop shop” for employees to join the giving day. Businesses can share information about their corporate philanthropy and encourage employees to donate to participating organizations.

Harris said there are numerous benefits to businesses participating in the Give More 24! event with a Business Fundraiser Page, including:

  • Helping to improve the community in which you have business interests
  • Engaging and exciting your employees
  • Creating partnerships and dialogue with groups to affect public change
  • Bringing the company’s core values to life and highlighting the code of ethics that defines your work
  • Some approaches to consider when participating in Give More 24! with a Business Fundraiser Page include:
  • Engage your employees
  • Give employees kudos and share with your online networks
  • Promise to match donations, or provide a match up to a certain point
  • Support a specific nonprofit or nonprofit area of service
  • Support all participating nonprofits
  • Compete with similar local organizations for an extra layer of fun

Several local businesses have decided to utilize the Give More 24! Business Fundraiser feature. Columbia Bank is one of those companies, and is also a sponsor of Give More 24!

“The Business Fundraiser feature is new this year, and we decided to engage with this program to better reach out to Columbia’s employees and clients,” said Linda Reid, vice president and commercial relationship banking officer with Columbia Bank. “It also allows for businesses to compete against each other in an effort to obtain more funds for local nonprofits and charities. And for Columbia, we are able to double up each individual employee donation to $100 with our company match program.”

“For an organization like Columbia, where the vast majority of our giving is employee-directed, the Give More 24! platform provides a great way to empower our employees to do what they do best – serve the community,” Reid continued.

Advisicon, a Southwest Washington company that specializes in blending project management and technology together, is also participating in Give More 24! this year using the Business Fundraisers feature. Alison Runcie, director of nonprofit and community outreach at Advisicon, said the company has an Employee Volunteer Program where they pay their employees to volunteer in the community, and they also have a Matching Gift Program and match employee donations to nonprofit organizations.

“Give More 24! is another opportunity to match our employee donations and support the Southwest Washington community of nonprofit organizations,” Runcie said. “This is a perfect opportunity to encourage our great staff to continue volunteering in the community and help them find other organizations that also need assistance. Advisicon is headquartered in Southwest Washington and we care about our community and helping the people and organizations here. We have a nonprofit and community outreach division here at Advisicon and our focus is on serving those who serve. This is our home and we want to do what we can to help make it better and encourage others to do the same thing.”

This year, Give More 24! aims to raise $1.6 million for local causes in 24 hours and attract 4,200 donors. Last year, the event exceeded its $1.2 million goal thanks to contributions from nearly 3,700 donors – enough to stretch across the Interstate 5 Bridge twice. Gifts came from a total of 40 states and nine countries, with the furthest hailing from Barbaza, Philippines (6,825 miles away).

To take part in this online giving marathon, visit the website, givemore24.org, on Sept. 19. On the day of giving, supporters can make charitable gifts to their favorite nonprofits via a highly secure, online credit card processor. Each donation will be tallied in real time, allowing everyone to watch and cheer on their favorite causes as the dollars roll in. The website also allows users to spread the word about specific causes by posting social media messages in support of their chosen charities.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.