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Davis, California

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Big Day of Giving raised 13.3 million dollars

Donations from the Big Day of Giving help to support many local nonprofits

The Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s Big Day of Giving occurs annually during the first Thursday in May. Its official website explains that it is “an annual 24-hour community-wide movement that unites the region’s nonprofit sector to help raise unrestricted funds for the organizations that strengthen the capital area.” 

Sacramento Region Community Foundation Program Manager Monica Haulman explained that the Big Day of Giving is a capacity-building program for local nonprofits. She further noted how a total of 688 different organizations participated this year. 

“Our mission for the Sacramento Region Community Foundation is to build a stronger community,” Haulman said. 

Yolo Community Foundation Executive Director Jessica Hubbard described the Big Day of Giving as “a capacity-building program for local nonprofits in addition to being a major fundraising opportunity.”

Hubbard explained that the Big Day of Giving offers a unique opportunity for nonprofits since donations they receive are not for any specific program or initiative and can be used to support the organization’s mission in any way. 

“Organizations that participate in [the Big Day of Giving] have access to a year-long capacity-building program where the Sacramento Community Foundation offers a number of trainings, mentorship opportunities and other resources to help nonprofits build their capacity to fundraise and also beyond,” Hubbard said. 

When the pandemic began last year, Haulman explained that they worried that the Big Day of Giving would not be as successful as it had been in previous years. It raised a total of 12 million dollars in 2020, however, as compared to a total of 8.4 million dollars in 2019. 

“It was a huge jump that we had never seen and did not expect,” Haulman said. “We’re all in uncharted territory, so we weren’t really sure what to expect.”

Hubbard noted that 98 nonprofits participated in the Big Day of Giving this year in Yolo County specifically. These nonprofits supported various causes, including but not limited to food insecurity, education, the environment and arts and culture. Hubbard explained that although raising money is the focus, the Big Day of Giving also connects nonprofits with more donors. 

“Hundreds of local nonprofits from throughout the Sacramento region all raise money on that day to support their mission,” Hubbard said. “It’s also an opportunity for nonprofits to reach out to new donors because there’s so much activity going around on the day itself.”

In 2021, the Big Day of Giving was able to continue its upward trend in donations, raising more than it had in 2020, Haulman said.

“Our nonprofits ended up raising 13.3 million dollars, so 1.4 million over last year,” Haulman said. “It was really incredible to see that people are still giving generously and giving locally.”

Yolo Community Foundation Donor Meaghan Likes explained how the Big Day of Giving appeals to donors who may not regularly donate to nonprofits because it does a great job of marketing donations in an appealing way. 

“It raises awareness about charitable giving,” Likes said. “It really encourages people to get into their pocketbooks and give away.”

Hubbard noted how the Big Day of Giving brings the community together. 

“One thing that I think is really tremendous about the [Big Day of Giving] is that it’s a community-wide event,” Hubbard said. “When you make a donation to the [Big Day of Giving], you’re part of something bigger than yourself that involves over 36,000 individuals joining together to support nonprofits all in one day.”

Likes explained that as a tax accountant, she was shocked by how few people regularly donate to nonprofits. 

“My fear early in the pandemic was that nonprofits would not survive, that the need would still be there but nonprofits would not be able to financially survive and continue serving,” Likes said. 

Hubbard noted the importance of nonprofit organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Nonprofits are kind of like the unsung hero of the pandemic,” Hubbard said. “Those nonprofits have been working more than I thought was humanly possible to serve the needs of our community since the beginning of the pandemic.”

Haulman described the importance of nonprofits during the pandemic since many provide important and trusted services.

“There’s still an immense amount of trust in nonprofits, even when trust in other entities was struggling during the pandemic,” Haulman said. “The services that they provide are services that we can’t afford to lose.”

Hubbard left a final note encouraging residents to support their local nonprofits. 

“Our Yolo County community is incredibly lucky to serve and to be surrounded by a robust and passionate nonprofit sector,” Hubbard said. “I would strongly suggest for Yolo County residents to look for ways to connect to their local nonprofits.”

Haulman added that community involvement is not limited to making donations, emphasizing that volunteering is important as well. 

“We always want to encourage anyone in the community to get involved with the local nonprofits,” Haulman said. “It’s a really great way not only to donate, but to become involved with the work that the local nonprofits are doing either as a volunteer or a participant.”

Written by: Jelena Lapuz — city@theaggie.org

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