By Gloria Duryea
Beaufort, we are a generous crowd. We freely give our time, talents and dollars to lift up friends and neighbors without hesitation. Next Tuesday, May 5th, is the 2nd Lowcountry Giving Day, a 24-hour online fundraiser hosted by Coastal Community Foundation that could bring $145,000 in additional funding for nonprofits in and around our community. By participating in the Lowcountry Giving Day, any member of the Beaufort community can bring much needed funding to local organizations while celebrating the future of philanthropy in our area.
The 19 nonprofits participating in Lowcountry Giving Day preserve historic landmarks, provide free and affordable healthcare to low-income individuals and tackle social justice issues. They work in rural and urban settings. Some are local chapters of large national organizations, and others are run solely by volunteers.
Through their varying sizes, causes and locations, these 19 organizations represent our local nonprofit sector. Although not every local nonprofit is part of Lowcountry Giving Day, the wide range of organizations that are participating provide something for everyone to champion on May 5th. You may even discover a new nonprofit that addresses issues you care about.
At the same time, online giving is growing in importance for organizations of all sizes and causes across the country. Blackbaud, a software company that makes programs for nonprofits, reported that online giving increased by 8.9 percent from 2013 to 2014 – that’s quadruple the increase in overall charitable giving in the same time period.
Just like private retailers respond to customer demands for online shopping, nonprofits need to respond to growing demand for online giving. Participating in Lowcountry Giving Day gives our local organizations the chance to do so while receiving guidance and training from Coastal Community Foundation.
However, the most exciting aspect of Lowcountry Giving Day for me is not just that there is an organization for everyone, or how this event bolsters our local nonprofit sector, it’s how donors and nonprofits alike collaborate for our shared success.
Last May, with just ten organizations participating, our region raised more than $240,000. Nearly 40 percent of 2014 donors even supported multiple nonprofits. Lowcountry Giving Day is truly a celebration of philanthropy in our community. We couldn’t have done it in 2014 without your support, and we need your help to make it happen again.
Starting May 5th at midnight, visit www.lowcountrygivingday.org to make a gift to any of our 19 local nonprofits. Each gift made on the 5th helps bring additional funding to local nonprofits. To get to know who is participating in our region, follow The Island News on Facebook. From May 1st – 4th we’ll be sharing stories about the local participants.
Any member of the Beaufort community can make a difference on the 5th. It only takes you, a credit card, and a desire to “#LiftTheLowcountry”. So, save the date – join in and show the rest of the Lowcountry just how generous we can be.
Each week, Coastal Community Foundation highlights organizations, donors and other charitable news in The Philanthropy Corner. If you’re interested in learning more about philanthropy in the Lowcountry, reach out to our regional Stewardship Officer, Gloria Duryea, at Gloria@CoastalCommunityFoundation.org or (843) 379-3400.