The San Antonio Area Foundation hosted a logistics meeting Monday morning for one of the last big public awareness pushes for The Big Give SA, the online, nonprofit fundraising campaign that will have more than 800 nonprofits vying for donations for 24 hours on May 5, a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo.
The logistical overview took less than 10 minutes – because The Big Give SA and partner organizations have created a seamless website, www.thebiggivesa.org, to find the nonprofit they’d like to support, enter in payment information, and give a minimum of $10 to any local nonprofit. And, yes, it’s a mobile-friendly site – so people can give via smart phone or tablet.
Donors can search for a nonprofit’s name, category – animal welfare, human services, education, environment, etc. – or by county. The “SA” part of its name may be a bit misleading this year as The Big Give SA has expanded to include 12 surrounding counties. From Atascosa to Wilson counties, “giving local” includes more and more of South Central Texas.
“The expansion to the 12 counties is really important because those folks are super excited about being a part of this, too,” said Scott McAninch, executive director of the San Antonio Nonprofit Council. “We’ve doubled the amount of prize and matching funds this year. We’ve doubled the number of nonprofits.”
And with that, they’ve doubled the goal from $2 million in 2014 to $4 million this year. With 880 nonprofits seeking funding, chances are good that everyone in the South Texas area with a Facebook and/or Twitter account will see at least one “ask” for funding on Tuesday. Organizations will use social media, email blasts, host parties, and take to the streets in some cases to get the word out about the fundraising campaign.
There are several matching-gift prizes that nonprofits can earn by hitting certain benchmarks at certain times throughout the day – further encouraging them to host “giving parties.” For instance, one $1,000 prize will be given away each hour to the organization that brings in the most unique donors for the hour and one $10,000 prize will be given out to the nonprofit in each category that brings in the most unique donors over the course of the Big Give SA. Some nonprofits are raising money for specific programming or projects while others are simply asking for donors to support their mission and goals in general.
The prizes and matching gifts, totaling $713,250, are made possible by a host of sponsors including foundations, corporations, and local businesses. The Mays Family Foundation is the 2015 title sponsor.
For a full list of campaign events – there are more than 60 – click here. Here is a taste of upcoming events (all are free, but some have a “suggested donation” amount):
Texas Public Radio‘s campaign starts at 7 p.m. Monday night with a “Think Big! Movie Marathon” at the Pearl Stable. The nonprofit, which operates five non-commercial radio stations, is screening the movies “Big,” “The Big Lebowski,” and “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” to encourage listeners to give to area nonprofits – including, of course, TPR. They’ll be pausing the show at midnight to announce the official start of The Big Give SA.
SOLI Chamber Ensemble will host “bright-eyed and bushy tailed” at 6 a.m. on Tuesday at the Sunken Gardens Train Depot where members will provide free coffee, muffins, and conversations as they focus their efforts on the 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. unique donor prize ($1,000). They will also be giving away mp3 downloads, CDs, autographed posters and more to donors at varying donation amounts.
Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas is hosting a similar breakfast from 7-8 a.m., a 10$ donation gets you breakfast tacos and coffee at their headquarters at 4901 Broadway St.
Gemini Ink’s Big Words Event, a “spoken word bonanza,” promises to enliven and entertain donors throughout the giving process with an eight-hour long poetry reading from various local poets and community members starting at 11 a.m. Rivard Report staff and freelance writers will close out the reading from 6-7 p.m.
Big Brothers Big Sister of South Texas and The Magik Theatre have teamed up to present “Jack and the Beanstalk” 4-7 p.m. at Big Brothers Big Sisters Offices at 202 Baltimore Ave. The event will also host a food truck, face painting, live music, and family friendly games like Twister, Giant Jenga, Wii Bowling, and a water balloon fight.
Bihl Haus Arts is taking their campaign back in time with its Big 80s Hair Bash at Primrose at Monticello Park, 2803 Fredericksburg Rd., from 6-9 p.m. They’ll have ’80s food (not sure what that implies), an ’80s costume contest, and the opportunity to get your hair pumped up by Vee’s Hair & Spa.
The Area Foundation has donated space to The Big Give SA for a headquarters location. There will be coffee, snacks, and networking all day after a sponsor breakfast from 8-10 a.m. at 303 Pearl Pkwy.
It’s not just happening in San Antonio or Texas, The Big Give SA is part of the national Give Local America campaign that takes place nationwide on May 5.
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Again, dozens of events are happening in and around town tomorrow. So if you if see a bus-full of party people with big hats and big hopes riding around town – which one nonprofit plans to do as a surprise – don’t be startled. This isn’t a Fiesta flashback, this is The Big Give.
*Featured/top image: Organizations participating in The Big Give SA pose for a photo at The San Antonio Area Foundation. Photo by Iris Dimmick.