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Gives Day raises nearly $743,000

Alabama Gives Day, which ended at midnight on Feb. 2, raised nearly $743,000 for nonprofit agencies around the state.

Alabama Gives Day, which ended at midnight on Feb. 2, raised nearly $743,000 for nonprofit agencies around the state.

A portion of those dollars, given by more than 8,000 donors, found their way to Butler County.

The Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center (Safe Harbor) received four donations totaling $200.

Healthy Kids received a total of $180 from 11 donors.

Bayside Medical Missions and Educational Outreach, which was listed among Butler County’s eligible organizations, was given a total of $2,274 by 11 donors.

More than 800 registered nonprofits within 12 categories participated in the inaugural Alabama Gives Day, which served as a fundraising blitz for nonprofits across the state. To be eligible, the organizations 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.

While raising funds for nonprofits was the primary goal, officials with Alabama Gives Day said it was also designed to raise 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 (alabamagives.org).

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.

The Alabama Association of Nonprofits, in conjunction with the Alabama Broadcasters Association, the Razoo Foundation, the Alabama Press Association, Alabama Giving and the Intermark Group, sponsored the event.