By IAN MUNRO
Daily News-Record 3/27/19
HARRISONBURG — The 2018 inaugural Great Community Give fundraiser blew organizers’ expectations out of the water, as the goal was met in the first hours of the event. This year, they’re setting sights even higher.
The Great Community Give is an online fundraising drive featuring incentives to help local nonprofits meet goals to help fund their operations. It is organized by The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Last year, the initial goal was $70,000, but by the end of the day, almost four times more than that had been raised, with $276,820 going to 53 local nonprofits. Earlier contributions gathered in advance from local businesses brought the grand total to about $340,000.
This year, organizers have almost doubled the number of participating nonprofits to 89 and have set a goal of $330,000 for the online fundraiser, which will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on April 17. There is also a goal of 3,333 individual donors.
“Good things happen in three’s,” said Amanda Bomfim, organizer of the Great Community Give and graduate assistant for The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.
Many people don’t realize there is such a large number of nonprofits in the area, Bomfim said.
Participating organizations are focused on a variety of issues, including education, environment, museums, animal programs and libraries, she said.
“It’s really exciting to see,” Bomfim said. “I’ve had a blast getting to know them all.”
The Community Foundation was flexible in working with nonprofits, which helped to increase participation, she said.
The Great Community Give aims to provide funding for nonprofits to meet their needs throughout the year, Bomfim said.
To encourage greater giving, The Community Foundation is putting up $70,000 in incentives to be awarded to nonprofits, in addition to the money they raise, said Revlan Hill, an organizer for the event and the executive director of the foundation.
Grand prizes will be based on most individual donations, as well as most money raised, with first place earning $6,000, second place earning $4,000 and third place earning $2,000.
Given the number of nonprofits taking part, the fundraiser is splitting the prize chances, as “a way to level out the playing field, if you will,” Hill said. The two classes are small nonprofits with revenue under $500,000 and medium to large nonprofits with revenue above $500,000.
There will also be hourly prizes of either $1,000 or $1,500, alternating between a combination of most individual donors, most money raised and a golden ticket random prize of $500.
Nonprofits with 100 percent of their boards donating by 4 p.m. will be eligible to win another $1,500, Hill said.
“We are wanting to raise money for the nonprofits,” she said, “who are in the trenches doing the work every day to make the community what it is.”