One of the newest and most exciting movements in philanthropy is the sudden emergence and success of online giving days. Often sponsored by community foundations or regional associations of nonprofits, these online giving portals advance the urgent spirit of a giving movement to bring a new tide of online donations - all concentrated on a particular day. In this way, the viral contagion factor can mobilize wide community support for nonprofit causes, including new donors who get swept up in the enthusiasm of the day.
Following this model, Minnesota nonprofits have raised $24 million in two days, Colorado nonprofits $8.4 million in a day, and just last month, 150 arts organizations in Pittsburgh benefited from $1.5 million in donations in a single day. What helps to make these giving days a success is the presence of a matching fund offered by a foundation or a group of wealthy donors that give a bonus return to each participating organization proportional to the total amount that their donors contribute.
Now Erie has its own giving day. "Erie Gives Day" is being sponsored by the Erie Community Foundation from 8 am to 8 pm on August 2, 2011. In honor of its 75th birthday, ECF will offer a prorated bonus of $75,000 in total to participating nonprofit organizations who are members of The Nonprofit Partnership. For details on Erie Gives, visit www.eriegives.org.