The annual Give Local 757 fundraiser returned Tuesday and saw its most successful results to date, with more than 10,000 donations made in 24 hours.
According to the fundraiser’s online leaderboard, donors gave more than $762,000 to 217 different organizations throughout Hampton Roads. Organizers are in the process of verifying amounts, but the preliminary results indicate a sizeable increase over 2017’s then-record-breaking $660,000 haul.
“I think it was well-planned. I think it was well-executed,” said Peggy Homesly, director of development for York County’s Lackey Clinic, which earned more than $7,300 Tuesday.
Tammy Flynn, director of philanthropy for the Peninsula Community Foundation, which organizes the event, said the most impressive figure was that more than 4,300 people donated money to causes they had never previously supported.
“That’s really what it’s all about. It’s not about the dollar amount,” she said. “It’s about connecting that donor to a cause that they’re passionate about, that they otherwise would not have known about.”
It helps the fundraiser become more than a one-day, one-off occurrence. Flynn said the Give Local 757 website sees consistent traffic throughout the year, as people use it as a resource to discover and research causes.
The foundation also emphasizes its online toolkit, which helps nonprofits — particularly small ones with limited staff — navigate planning and marketing their cause of choice. Flynn said the ones who utilized it were more likely to appear near the top of the leaderboard.
“It becomes kind of a competitive thing, a fun thing,” Homesly said, adding that her organization made use of the toolkit and hopes to further utilize it next time around.
With 571, The 20 Pearls Foundation topped the leaderboard for most individual donations. Williamsburg’s Heritage Humane Society once again received more money than any other participant, with a total of more than $36,000, a roughly 30 percent increase compared with 2017.
“It worked out really well for us. It was a great day,” said Kimberly Laska, the humane society’s executive director. “For a day like this, you get to see how much your message and your mission have touched people. People aren’t going to be making investments of this sort if they don’t feel the programs are doing things right.”
Flynn said the foundation evaluates the success of the event each year and as long as it appears to help area nonprofits, she and her team will carry on.
“It helps the region. That’s why we do it,” she said.
Donations can still be made at givelocal757.org. For more information, call 327-0862.
Birkenmeyer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 757-790-3029 or on Twitter @sethbirkenmeyer.