Fairfield County Giving Day Returning March 9
Area nonprofit groups are hoping to hear from regular supporters and new fans when Fairfield County's Community Foundation (FCCF) presents its fourth annual online Day of Giving.
Fairfield County Giving Day makes it fast and easy to support a favorite nonprofit. The mission of the annual event is to raise as much money as possible for nonprofit organizations in 24 hours, all done through online donations.
On Thursday, March 9, from midnight until 11:59 pm, everyone is invited to help support a favorite program, cause, or nonprofit with an online donation of at least $10.
All participating organizations are 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that serve residents of Fairfield County. Organizations have gone through an application process in order to participate in Giving Day.
Donations are 100 percent tax deductible.
Fairfield County Giving Day 2016 raised more than $1.2 million. The average gift size, according to data compiled by FCCF, was $73.87, up from $62.86 the previous year. The majority of last year's gifts, however, were $25 or less.
While Giving Day supports nonprofits in Fairfield County, donations poured in from across the country - 49 states were represented at the end of the 24-hour philanthropic period - and from ten countries in addition to the United States.
A total of 431 organizations registered for this year's event before registration closed on February 1.
The following Newtown-based organizations have registered for this year: The Animal Center, Ben's Lighthouse, The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, EverWonder Children's Museum (listed as Newtown Children's Museum, Inc), The Exceptional Partner Service Dogs, Friends of Second Company Governors Horse Guard, The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, Kitten Associates, LOF Adaptive Skiers (listed as Leaps Of Faith Disabled Skiers), Merryhill Child Care Center Inc, The Newtown Foundation, Newtown Parent Connection, Newtown Scholarship Association (NSA), Newtown Underwater Search And Rescue (NUSAR), Newtown Youth & Family Services, The Resiliency Center of Newtown, Inc, Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, Inc, Town Players of Newtown, Inc, and Two Coyotes Wilderness School.
Eight organizations are joining Giving Day for the first time: Exceptional Partner Service Dogs, Merryhill Child Care, NSA, Newtown Parent Connection, NUSAR, Town Players, and Two Coyotes.
Newtown Salvation Army has reportedly been accepted for this year's event as well, according to a March 1 e-mail from longtime volunteer coordinator Steve Bennett. The local service unit was not showing online as of March 1, but is expected to be included as a donation option by March 9, Mr Bennett wrote.
While not headquartered in Newtown, many regional organizations that have helped or include residents - such as the Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut, Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS), Dream Come True of Western Connecticut, and Regional Hospice and Home Care - are also participating in Giving Day 2017.
In addition, Ben's Bells Connecticut, which was founded as Ben's Bells Newtown in 2013 but moved to a new studio in Bethel in 2015, is participating again. The group is listed as Ben's Bells Inc. The Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, Inc, named in memory of one of the teachers killed on 12/14, is again part of Giving Day.
Those looking to donate on March 9 should visit FCgives.org. Organizations can be found by searching for their name. Website visitors also have the option to searching through general groupings, with organizations listed alphabetically within each category.
In addition to an onslaught of donations received during the 24-hour period, organizations can earn bonuses, or grant prizes, for a number of special recognitions.
Last year, part of the funds raised by Ben's Bells Connecticut included a $1,000 Whole Foods Get Up and Give Prize, one of 20 such prizes sponsored by the supermarket chain for the first 20 groups to receive 25 unique donors of $25 or more. In addition, Kitten Associates earned a first place $500 Facebook Photo Contest prize.
For the third straight year, Curtain Call repeated as the top performing Giving Day participant. Donations and cash prizes for the Stamford-based theater company totaled $62,617. The second highest group, also for the third consecutive year, was Wildlife in Crisis. The Weston-based group that provides care to injured or orphaned wild animals raised $46,550.