Seattle Foundation Looks for a “BIG” Sophomore Year for Online Event

April 30, 2012; Source: Seattle Times

Until midnight tonight, the Seattle Foundation will transform the Internet into a hub of philanthropy. The Foundation is putting on their second annual GiveBIG event, a 24-hour campaign of giving to over 1,400 local nonprofits. NPQ covered the results of this event last year in its newswire and of similar efforts around the country over the past few years here and here. The GiveBIG event is focused on online donations, and the nonprofits involved cover a diverse range of causes from arts and culture to health, community organizing, the environment, and education.

Vice President of the Seattle Foundation Mary Grace Roske explained the foundation’s inspiration behind the fundraising event: “The idea is to create a sense of excitement around one day in which the whole community comes together to support the nonprofits.” The foundation’s sponsors have adopted a “stretch pool” model so that if one nonprofit earns three percent of the total donations, sponsors will match three percent of their donation earnings via the pool. Boeing, Microsoft, Seattle International Foundation, Seattle Sounders FC, the Bezos Family Foundation and JP Morgan Chase are sponsoring the GiveBIG event. Also, this year donors will be chosen at random to have an additional $1,000 donated to the charity they have chosen to give to.

Last year, more than 19,000 individuals contributed, donating anywhere from five dollars to $60,000. The Seattle Foundation’s goal for 2012 is to match or exceed last year’s donations, totaling at least $3.6 million, according to Roske.

Nonprofit organizations involved in GiveBIG have been promoting the event, often in unique ways. For example, the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, a nonprofit offering horse-riding therapy to the disabled, plans to post segments of a movie on its Facebook page to encourage supporters to donate; each chapter will be revealed after a certain amount has been donated.

This online fundraising initiative not only makes it easy to give back, but also creates a sense of community that is often lacking in the world of online giving. We recommend a visit to the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG website, which may even inspire you with some ideas for your next e-fundraising event. –Aine Creedon