By JoAnn Turnquist
May 16, 2014
Wow! 24-hours. 150 nonprofits. $704,932.23 raised! Behind these incredible results were inspiring stories of our community uniting to Magnify the Midlands. Thank you! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and the resulting success of our inaugural Midlands Gives.
From the moment the clock hit midnight on May 6th, excitement and anticipation grew as we watched the dollars climb the leaderboard. The social media channels lit up the internet, television, radio, and digital billboards to broadcast our growing success. Community members and nonprofits encouraged each other throughout the entire day-embracing the campaign, spreading the word to give, and uniting with a single goal of magnifying the community.
Midlands Gives helped nonprofits in our community, both large and small. Each organization that participated received a donation during our 24-hour day of giving and many were blessed with good luck – earning prizes that increased their total. One particular prize proved that every little bit counts. In celebration of Central Carolina Community Foundation’s 30th Anniversary, donor number 1,984 saw his $20 donation to the Elloree Heritage Museum & Culture Center magnified with a $3,000 prize – awarded in honor of the Foundation’s founding year. Incredible!
Midlands Gives lifted the spirits of everyone in the community. One donor wrote “The Midlands Gives event has turned an otherwise rough week into something amazing! Not only have I given to several NPOs I love, but I’ve also been encouraging others and getting them excited about contributing to the community. . . It’s been heartwarming watching the donation rise, doubling since I began watching the leaderboard this morning. As they say, ‘Faith in Humanity restored’!”
Midlands Gives demonstrated that everyone can be a philanthropist. Sandhills School, the nonprofit with the highest donations, was one of many examples. Sandhills made May 6th an event and a reason to celebrate. To teach the joy that giving and helping the community brings, each student was encouraged to raid their piggybank and donate $20. They did and, they won! Students weren’t the only participants. Businesses also teamed up with nonprofits to increase awareness and allow more people to donate. Newberry County Literacy Council partnered with TD Bank to provide supporters who did not have a credit card, a no-fee way to purchase a pre-paid Visa card – and the opportunity give online. This partnership helped the Literacy Council’s supporters learn how to use a bank and an online giving site.
Nationally, online giving is growing at a rate of 35% annually. Midlands Gives helped increase online giving in our community. One donor told us he would be “giving more online,” citing that he found it easy and convenient to do so. As more and more donors move to online giving, nonprofits must follow, using social media to engage potential donors online. In order to help the 150 participating nonprofits embrace online technology and learn how to use it effectively, training programs and conference calls were provided in the months leading up to Midlands Gives. View our Storify to see some of the creative posts and excitement on social media that Midlands Gives created. If you were impacted, in any way, by May 6th, please send us your story!
We hope that the impact of Midlands Gives is magnified by the new reality we demonstrated on May 6th – everyone in our community can be a philanthropist.
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