Foundation Slashes Giving Day Incentives

May 2, 2016       Mark Hrywna      

The success of the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving has led to changes in how the community foundation will provide incentives for participating nonprofits this year.

The 16-hour online giving event (https://givingday.pittsburghgives.org/) will run from 8 a.m. to midnight on Tuesday and include nonprofits in Allegheny, Westmoreland and Butler counties. Since its inception seven years ago, the Day of Giving has raised more than $40 million for nonprofits in the Pittsburgh area.

“When we first launched our local Day of Giving in 2009, none of us envisioned the success it would have, not only here in Pittsburgh but also in serving as a model for other community foundations across the country,” President and CEO Maxwell King said in a press release announcing the Day of Giving. “After careful review of our local event, as well as others, we decided to develop a structure that would be sustainable and ensure a high enough match percentage that donors would continue to have some extra incentive to support participating nonprofits,” he said.

For this year’s Allegheny County event, staff worked with the nearly 900 participating nonprofits to provide their own separate matching funds rather than a foundation-supported common match pool as in the past.

The foundation will provide incentives of $100,000 to encourage donations, including $10,000 to the top two nonprofits with budgets of at least $1 million that get the most contributions during the day. Previously, the foundation provided matching funds of between 10 and 15 percent of individual donations. In 2014, the foundation provided $750,000 in matching funds toward $4.5 million in individual gifts.

There will be 887 nonprofits participating in Allegheny County, and 164 of them have raised $2.2 million for their own match pools. The average amount for each match pool is $13,832.

The foundation also will provide $100,000 in incentives to encourage public support, including cash awards to nonprofits that bring in the most donations at specific times of the day; have the most mentions on social media, and report the largest increase in donors for an organization.

Incentives will be apportioned to categories of small, medium and large organizations as well as organizations that are new to the Day of Giving.

Day of Giving events for Westmoreland and Butler counties will continue, with each having a central match pool. Westmoreland will have a match pool of $50,000, with 146 nonprofits participation, and Butler will have $10,000 available to 56 organizations.