Alabama Gives Day set for Thursday

Published 4:28 pm Monday, January 30, 2012

The Alabama Association of Nonprofits is hoping there is strength – and dollars – in numbers.

On Thursday the organization, in conjunction with the Alabama Broadcasters Association, the Razoo Foundation, the Alabama Press Association, Alabama Giving and the Intermark Group, will hold the first ever Alabama Gives Day – a 24-hour fundraising effort that encourages people to make online contributions to the charity of their choice.

“On Feb. 2, hundreds of nonprofits statewide are joining together for 24 hours to showcase our work and ask our communities for financial support,” said John Stone, President of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits. “I hope that we all will join together for a day of giving unlike anything Alabama has ever experienced. Nonprofits are known for saying ‘every dollar helps.’ On Feb. 2, they truly will.”

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More than 800 registered nonprofits within 12 categories are participating in Alabama Gives Day. To be eligible, they must have 501(c)(3) tax status. The IRS says these organizations are commonly referred to as “charitable organizations” and donations made to them are tax-deductible.

Three Butler County organizations are among the 800.

The Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center (Safe Harbor), Healthy Kids and Bayside Medical Missions and Educational Outreach are all eligible for donations.

Alabama Gives is designed to raise money, but according to the Alabama Association for Nonprofits, there are other goals as well, including increasing public awareness of nonprofit groups, promoting the ease and safety of online giving, developing new donors and providing nonprofits with an online giving platform they can use all year (

The Gives Day movement began three years ago in Minnesota as a means to increase philanthropy and help grow the individual donor base of nonprofits. In 2011, Minnesota’s Give to the Max day saw 47,538 donations totaling $13.4 million. Colorado Gives Day recently had 52,000 donations totaling $12 million. Residents in other communities that have organized a Gives Day have overwhelmingly shown their support through donations, and while the immediate benefit is huge, the ripple effects of giving have helped spur other philanthropic endeavors in those communities.

Stone expects Thursday’s inaugural event to be one of the biggest Gives Days in the nation.

“We consistently rank among the top five states nationally in annual giving surveys, a testament to the deep rooted sense of stewardship that we feel for the nonprofit community,” Stone said. “Nonprofits and the donors who support them are partners. Responding to the needs of our citizens is a statewide effort – serving others is at the heart of what makes our state great.”

Alabama Gives Day begins at 12 a.m. Thursday morning and ends at 11:59 p.m. that night. Donors can give by visiting and selecting the nonprofit of their choice from a list of 12 areas of interest, such as children and youth; animals; health; environment, etc., or by choosing an organization from a specific area by using a zip code.

“It’s all about connecting them to the missions they are most passionate about, and hopefully to a nonprofit they’ve never supported,” Stone said.