For the third year in a row, Give More 24! broke its fundraising record and goal, bringing in more than $3.6 million for Southwest Washington nonprofits.
On Thursday, more than 200 organizations in Cowlitz, Clark and Skamania counties participated in the annual 24-hour online fundraiser held by the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.
The 36 participating Cowlitz County nonprofits collectively raised $413,240 of the total.
FISH of Cowlitz County raised $51,975 from 53 donors, boosted by matches from an anonymous donor, the Kirchner Foundation and the Firstenburg Foundation.
Board President Bob Theriault said this is the most the all-volunteer organization has raised in the last few years of participating. The online fundraiser is FISH’s largest outreach to the general public for donations, though it raises money from other sources throughout the year, Theriault said.
“FISH can’t do what we do without, No. 1, over 300 volunteers in the community, … and No. 2, without financial assistance from generous people throughout the community,” he said.
The nonprofit partners with churches to distribute food, and also helps pay for utility bills, prescription medications, emergency dental care, eye exams and other emergency needs.
“This boost was really important to us to help us recover, help us get through a slow spot in our finances because of our extra efforts during the pandemic,” Theriault said.
Local organizations, like Stageworks Northwest Theatre and the Southwest Washington Symphony, held in-person events during the campaign.
The nonprofit partnered with Kelso restaurant Fiesta Bonita Mexican Grill & Cantina, which donated a percent of sales to Ethnic Support Council. The organization raised $10,250 online, but also received checks from less tech-savvy supporters, said Cindy Lopez Werth, council board member.
“I thought we did very well this year in Give More 24!,” she said. “I’m just really amazed at how generous people are.”
The fundraiser is a “great community effort,” of businesses pitching in prizes and hosting nonprofit events, Lopez Werth said.
Although the overall number of donors was down from about 6,600 to 6,065, the average gift increased about $8 to push the fundraiser over its goal, said Maury Harris, Community Foundation spokesman. Many nonprofits also secured matching funds, for a total of about $1.74 million that was almost 100% fulfilled, he said.
The one-day fundraiser is an efficient way for organizations to raise money outside of typical fundraising efforts, Harris said.
“Communities coming together all on one day for this urgent challenge is fun, exciting,” he said. “(It’s) something that feels different to a donor, so they might give that extra gift that day.”
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