Nonprofit leaders excited about Alabama Gives Day
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 31, 2012 | 1070 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The state’s more than 21,000 nonprofit organizations are throwing themselves a birthday party on Thursday.

“It’s one day for everybody to think about somebody else like everybody thinks about somebody on their birthday,” said Paul Kennedy, president of the Walker Area Community Foundation.

The event, a one-day virtual fundraiser, is called Alabama Gives Day. It is being organized by the Alabama Association of Nonprofits in association with groups such as the Razoo Foundation, which will be handling the online donations to participating nonprofits.

The giving will begin at midnight on Thursday and continue through 11:59 p.m. at www.alabamagivesday.org.

Donors can contribute to the charity of their choice, and the Razoo Foundation will re-grant approximately 97 percent of the monies to the nonprofit organizations.

Several local nonprofits are signed up, including WACF, the Arc of Walker County, Daybreak, Equines Assisting Special Individuals and Walker County Arts Alliance.

Joanna Brand, administrative director of the Arc of Walker County, said individual donations are becoming even more vital to nonprofits as the state and federal government withdraw some of their financial support.

“It allows us to continue providing quality services even while we’re facing budget cuts,” Brand said.

The Gives Day movement began three years ago in Minnesota.

More than 47,000 donations totaling $13.4 million poured in during last year’s Give to the Max day in Minnesota.

“Connecting individual donors to nonprofits, while also promoting the safety and ease of online giving, is critical to helping our nonprofits be sustainable,” said John Stone, President and CEO for the Alabama Association of Nonprofits. “Never before has an event of this magnitude taken place in our state. This will be a defining moment for Alabama nonprofits participating in the event and the impact will be felt far and wide.”

Although several states have organized their own Gives Day, Minnesota still hold the record for the most money raised during a 24-hour period — $14.8 million.

Kennedy believes that Alabamians are competitive and charitable enough to take the top spot.

“It’s a little bit like a tournament. You want your nonprofit to shine among all the others, but at the end of the day, it’s not about who wins. It’s that everybody has played,” Kennedy said.