Fundraising off to brisk start as Give More 24! returns for in-person events around Vancouver

The Give More 24! The annual online fundraising marathon appeared to be on track to hit its $3.5 million goal by late Thursday night. As of 9:30 p.m., 5,751 donors had donated $3,194,533.

With over 200 nonprofits participating this year, Give More 24! returned to hosting in-person events after a two-year hiatus during the peak of COVID-19. Over a dozen of the participating nonprofits hosted in-person events—from breakfast at the Vancouver Washington Hilton with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity to a live game of Clue with Stageworks Northwest.

The Community Foundation for Southwest Washington launched the 24-hour online fundraising campaign in 2013 to engage more people in the community to support local causes.

“The intent was really broad, not just fundraising, but really building the capacity of organizations and getting the word out,” said Matt Morton, president of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.

Fosterful, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children transition into foster care, hosted an event at its office Thursday morning that offered community members donuts and coffee. Each donor of $25 or more received a tile to sign, which was then added to a mosaic of Fosterful’s logo. This is the fourth year the nonprofit has participated in Give More 24!

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“Our participation in this event is important because it helps our neighbors be more aware of what is happening here in Vancouver,” said Sarah Desjarlais, Managing Director of Fosterful. “We used to be known as Vancouver’s best kept secret, which is never a good thing. Partly because of our participation in this event, we were able to really spread the word.”

According to Desjarlais, Fosterful’s goal for the day was to raise $20,000. By late afternoon, the organization was on track with over $15,000 raised from more than 55 donors.

During an afternoon update with KGW meteorologist Rod Hill, Morton remained optimistic that Give More 24! on track to reach its target of $3.5 million by Thursday afternoon, despite rising inflation.

“In moments when there’s another economic downturn, a pandemic, or other big issues, sometimes people tend to be more generous and recognize that the issues are more common,” Morton said. “I think that’s a motivating factor for our donors.”

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Until Thursday noon Give More 24! lagged behind in funds compared to the same point last year. However, as of 1:00 p.m., $1.97 million had been raised, more than the $1.88 million reached at the same time last year.

Many activities

From morning coffee and donuts to late afternoon happy hour events, Thursday was packed with events raising support and awareness for Give More 24!

The Columbia Play Project toured the community providing exploratory play opportunities for children. The nonprofit launched its mobile van on September 17 and was able to travel to a handful of different locations on Thursday, such as: B. Waterfront Park to raise awareness and try to raise funds towards their eventual goal of opening a brick-and-mortar business at the Children’s Museum in Vancouver.

“We’re still trying to build exhibits for this museum, and that’s what the funds will be used for,” said Jeanne Bennett, executive director of the Columbia Play Project. “And then there’s the infrastructure to run a nonprofit organization.”

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The mobile van was funded in part by the Cowlitz Indian tribe, Bennett said. The van allows volunteers to provide play opportunities to children across the county. During Give More 24! Fundraising, Bennett and Columbia Play Project Secretary Mary Sisson, dressed as “Doug the Slug” and “Ryder the Spider,” offered activities like magnetic poetry and hula hoops to passers-by.

According to Bennett, the Columbia Play Project’s goal was to raise $20,000. By late afternoon, over $6,500 had been raised from over 30 donors.

With the hours remaining in the fundraising marathon, it’s hard to tell which nonprofits will lead with the most donations. By late afternoon, education, poverty and hunger seemed to be the main causes.

A full report of the amount raised, number of donations and award winners will be made available on Friday.

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