Day of Giving Raises Thousands of Dollars for Northern Utah Non-Profits

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A day dedicated for donations to Utah nonprofits raised $1.23 million on Thursday, March 31, impacting hundreds of nonprofits in the state and providing major boosts for several northern Utah charities.

Love UT Give UT was sponsored by The Community Foundation of Utah, which started the event last year. The premise is simple: get as many Utah-based 501(c)(3) organizations to participate, give them a simple webpage for online donations, help them campaign towards the event and watch live results as donations poured in Thursday.

The Community Foundation of Utah published the results immediately following the day of giving. The foundation worked with crowdfunding service Razoo to set up a streamlined web page directing donors to every participating nonprofit.

The Ogden Nature Center, a 152-acre preserve dedicated to environmental education, earned $6,935 from 140 unique donors, the 7th-highest amount of unique donors for any participating medium-sized nonprofit. The Community Foundation of Utah designated a medium-sized profit as one with an annual budget between $250,000 and $1 million.

However, those are only online donations through Love UT Give UT. Ogden Nature Center’s Executive Director Mary McKinley said a handful of private organizations agreed to make matching donations, so the actual amount the center achieved is about $14,000.

What will the donations be used for?

“It depends on the donation itself,” McKinley said. “Some of the donations were designated for specific projects, while others were just general donations. Those will support all of our operations.”

In all, McKinley said most of the money would go towards operations and overhead costs.

Weber State University also participated in the fun. The school netted $9,437 from 154 unique donors, pushing it into the top 10 for large nonprofits — those with annual budgets exceeding $1 million.

Youth Futures, a youth shelter in Ogden at 2760 Adams Ave., also received a sizeable chunk of cash. For the small nonprofit category — those with annual budgets between $100,000 and $250,000 — Youth Futures had the fifth-most unique donors at 163, earning a total of $9,115, including a $1,000 reward for its unique donor rank.

“I was expecting to raise about $8,000,” said Kristen Mitchell, the shelter’s executive director. “We doubled what we raised in last year’s event and more than doubled the number of our donors.”

Youth Futures began campaigning for the event almost a month in advance, mostly on Facebook but also through word of mouth. “We did a lot of email blast,” Mitchell said.

To add excitement to the day and create a way to incentivize donors and nonprofits, a rewards system was set up for each nonprofit category, letting potential and actual donors know how well their favorite nonprofits were doing in real-time.

In every category, a bonus $10,000 was given to the highest-ranked nonprofit, $5,000 for 2nd place, $3,000 for 3rd place, $2,000 for 4th place and $1,000 for 5th. Additional $250 prizes were given for nonprofits during “Power Hours” -- getting the most unique donors in a single hour.

Those rewards were made available by sponsors for The Community Foundation of Utah, according to its website.

“This really was significant for us,” Mitchell said. “This is really going to help us keep things going for awhile.”

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