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In 2017, Chris Haas and Tim Howington asked themselves a question – How could the generous people of Northwest Arkansas get connected to local nonprofits that are doing great work in their communities but might not have the funds or manpower to create highly visible, well-organized fundraising campaigns? The answer to their question needed to be easy (for both the organization and the donors), appealing, and create an impact that lasted beyond one gift. On April 5, 2018, the pair debuted the first NWA Gives Day of Giving.
Here’s how it works: A nonprofit registers as a participant in the event and creates a donation page through the NWA Gives portal. On their organization’s page, they can tell their story, add a photo, and track donations made to their organization on the day of the event. Once they are set up, they are invited to utilize training modules designed to help them have a successful Day of Giving, including information on branding, social media and donor cultivation.
There were 115 nonprofits registered that first year and the event raised $208,000 in just 12 hours. After that successful launch, Haas and Howington knew they were onto something, so they built a team and began planning for the next year. In 2020, over $525,000 was raised for 202 organizations from 2,457 individual donations. Clearly, they’ve hit on a successful formula.
According to the NWA Gives website, one of its major emphases is on providing training and resources to help nonprofits succeed with their fundraising and marketing on the day of the event and beyond. This helps smaller nonprofit organizations spend less time on fundraiser management and more time on doing their work, and also lets donors know that their donations are being utilized wisely.
The 2021 NWA Gives Day of Giving is scheduled for Thursday, April 8. For this year’s event, 298 nonprofits are registered to receive donations. Individuals interested in pitching in with a donation or two can search for organizations by using filters related to different types of causes such as “Arts, Culture and Humanities,” “Education,” or “Public, Societal Benefit.” Once you make your selection, you can click on the links to each organization under that heading and read about their work before making your decision about who to support.
2020 was a tough year and you probably know someone who turned to nonprofit organizations for help getting by during illness and job loss. Some of us may not have the ability to make gifts to our favorite organizations at the same level as we did in years past, but that’s the beauty of the Day of Giving – all the small amounts add up to something bigger. Thanks to NWA Gives, it’s easy for us to make a difference right here in our community. There’s nothing better than that!
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