By Valerie Bauman
Staff Writer - Puget Sound Business Journal
The Seattle Foundation is kicking off its second annual "GiveBIG" campaign for King County starting at 12 a.m. Wednesday.
It’s a one-day online giving event in which the Seattle Foundation and other supporters match a share of every contribution to local nonprofits on www.seattlefoundation.org
for 24 hours on Wednesday.
Last year's GiveBIG push raised $3.6 million from nearly 19,000 donations that supported 900 nonprofits. The Seattle Foundation has a pool of $500,000 in funds set aside for partial match incentives for potential donors. The partial match funds are distributed proportionately: if a nonprofit organization raises 3 percent of the total donations during the GiveBig push, then they will receive 3 percent of the incentive pool.
Last year the pool helped support the 12,000 donors who made online gifts ranging between $5 and $60,000. The partial match funds added $14 extra for every $100 donated.
“We were elated with the success of GiveBIG last year and how the community enthusiastically embraced the concept of an online giving day,” Norman Rice, former Seattle mayor and president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, said in a statement. “This day and all of the donations it generates are even more important now, as nonprofits seek to fill the financial gaps left by painful cuts in government support.”
It’s easy to search for a nonprofit on the site, or just scroll through the more than 1,300 that are participating in the project. Local nonprofits include various YWCAs and Woodland Park Zoo, as well as a variety of food banks and schools, among others.
In some cases, the nonprofits are local but have an international focus – like Vittana, an organization that partners with microfinance organizations to build student loan programs around the globe.
Certain donors will also be chosen at random to have an additional $1,000 given to the charity that he or she donated to.
Seattle was ranked No. 1 in online giving for 2011. Seattle’s average online donation was $124.92 in 2011 – significantly higher than most cities in the U.S.; only seven had averages of more than $100. The national average was $65.
Valerie Bauman covers nonprofits and healthcare for the Puget Sound Business Journal.