Give Miami Day Doubles Year-Over-Year

November 22, 2013       The NonProfit Times      

Give Miami Day generated $3.2 million for more than 400 area nonprofits in just 24 hours. The event, held from midnight to 11:59 p.m. this past Wednesday, drew 12,307 unique donations.

The total raised was more than twice the inaugural event last year, which raised $1.2 million from 5,000 donors for approximately 300 organizations.

Javier Soto, president and CEO of event organizer the Miami Foundation, said his organization has a match pool of $300,000 that is included in the $3.2 million total. Some donations were in the match pool before Give Miami Day, and some arrived during the event. “Basically it’s giving to every nonprofit that receives a donation,” he said. The Miami Foundation will match each donation by a certain percentage, to be determined next week, up to $10,000.

Soto attributes the success of the second Give Miami Day to more time to plan and to greater familiarity among donors in the community. “In Year Two, people understood how it worked better,” he said. “Nonprofits were really energized, and we all learned how to maximize fundraising on Give Miami Day. In general, there’s a growing awareness in the importance to invest in Miami’s future.”

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation raused the most at $207,362. Representatives could not be reached for comment. The Children’s Movement of Florida received the most donations at 397, for a total of $95,585. Director Vance Aloupis said that’s more than double last year’s total, when the organization raised slightly more than $41,000.

“A lot of it is approaching the 24-hour period strategically, having a game plan that engages the entire staff,” said Aloupis. “For the organizations that did exceptionally well on Give Miami Day, it was a result of the staff coming together and tapping into their individual networks. The first rule of development is people give to people. We did it by engaging staff members, getting them excited and asking that they become development officers for 24 hours.”

The Miami Foundation ran a number of training sessions and sent electronic communications to nonprofits throughout the year, said Soto. “Nonprofits are the key actors in terms of getting the word out,” he said. He added that Twitter in particular was a very powerful tool for spreading awareness.

The Children’s Movement of Florida leveraged Twitter throughout the day. “Every time an individual was giving, we would do our best to celebrate that person on Twitter so they’d feel good about themselves and others would see that they’re giving on Give Miami Day,” he said. Another tactic Aloupis’s organization used was segmenting its email database. “We tried to see who had given before and who had given on Give Miami Day. We tried not to mass email people because the noise around Give Miami Day was very loud.”

Both Aloupis and Soto are already looking forward to Give Miami Day 2014. “We’re still going through the action report preparation process, but we’re just scratching the surface,” said Soto. “There is tremendous generosity in Miami, and this event is a call to action for the community.” Aloupis agreed, saying, “It’s a very exciting day for the community as a whole. To have 12,000 donor participate was stunning for all of us.”