The Hastings Community Foundation will host a 24-hour fundraising event Thursday with the aim of rallying community support for local charitable causes.
The one-day campaign, titled Give Hastings Day, will be conducted mostly online and will run from midnight to midnight.
Community members are asked to make donations to their choice of 55 local nonprofit organizations that range in purpose from animal rights organizations and school foundations to health and human service groups. Descriptions of each charity are available through the giving website, www.givehastings.org.
Give Hastings Day is unique from other fundraising campaigns as there are big matching dollars and incentives at stake for the participating nonprofits and donors.
“We have over $85,000 in prize and matching money, so that will make donations go further than they normally would,” said Stephanie Bliss with the Hastings Community Foundation. “Even small gifts, if there are a lot of them, can really make a difference for an organization. Plus, it’s going to be a fun event. There are some creative ways for organizations to get prize money and encourage people to participate.”
As an incentive for special gifts, the Hastings Community Foundation is offering three types of prizes for donations made May 1. The first reward is in the form of matching funds.
The foundation and community supporters have contributed a bonus cash pool available for the give day. Every participating nonprofit will receive a proportional share of this fund up to the first $50,000 raised. Money raised above $50,000 will be matched at a 10 percent rate.
A group of nonprofit sponsors are providing another prize in the form of bonus grants, which will be awarded to the top three nonprofits with the greatest number of unique donors. The first-, second- and third-place nonprofits in those categories will receive bonus donations of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 respectively.
Finally, “Golden May Baskets” are prizes that will be given throughout the day to reward one random donor each hour on the hour. Upon winning, the donor will have a bonus $250 gift made in their name to a nonprofit they choose.
The minimum donation accepted is $10. There is no maximum donation.
“Anybody and everybody can participate,” Bliss said.
Donors may designate any gift to any number of the participating organizations as they choose. If people are unsure about which groups to give to, the foundation encourages donors to browse the photos, videos and descriptions of the nonprofits on the Give Hastings Day website. Lists of the participating organizations also were mailed to many residents and distributed in Saturday’s Hastings Tribune.
“We have a lot of people ask if they can just write us a big check and have us divide it up. But we like to have donors decide where their money is going. It encourages a sense of participation. People can choose projects that touch their lives the most,” Bliss said.
“Each organization created their Web page and told their story through pictures and video. It’s fun to browse through them. You might learn something about what these groups are doing in the community and something might strike a chord with you.”
In addition, many organizations are hosting social events on Thursday to encourage supporters to give. Some nonprofits are using Give Hastings Day to fund specific projects within their organization, so donors can be on the lookout for that as well, Bliss said.
There will be live leader boards visible on the Give Hastings Day website so people can see which nonprofits are receiving the most money and which have the greatest number of unique donors.
“There might be some friendly rivalry,” Bliss said. “Hopefully, that friendly competition encourages people to give.”
Although Give Hastings Day is a unique, singular campaign, it is also a way to encourage patrons toward participation in area nonprofits throughout the year.
Participating organizations can track donations made to their cause and have access to donor names and contact information, unless the donor wishes to give anonymously. Donor contact information will be used to thank donors for participating and to provide the option to learn more about future nonprofit and Give Hastings Day activities.
Residents can make contributions online at www.givehastings.org using PayPal or credit or debit cards. Donations also may be made in person at the Hastings Community Foundation office, 800 W. Third St. Suite 232, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Checks should be made out to the Hastings Community Foundation.
Those giving in person can write one check that then will be distributed to their chosen nonprofits as they designate.
Donations are tax deductible and cannot be refunded.