SAN ANTONIO – Officials with the Big Give SA said they will not solicit donations for the rest of the day Tuesday after its website crashed earlier in the day.
Organizers said the Big Give SA, which is typically a 24-hour period of giving, will be extended to Wednesday with donations accepted from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“The Big Give SA is working closely with national Give Local America to identify what our best course of action is, keeping the best in mind for our community and our nonprofits,” organizers said in a statement. “A high volume of donations throughout the United States has caused significant issues. No matter what happens, today is still The Big Give SA, and it is our day to celebrate South Central Texas' nonprofits.”
John Burnam, a planning member of Big Give SA, said they first saw the issue at 9:30 a.m.
"Our platform provider was unable to process the transaction loads that were going through," Burnam said. "Which means people were being extra generous and giving in such large quantities that they were not able to filter through the system properly."
At that point, the Big Give SA was already at nearly $2 million, which Burnam said was on track to reach their goal of $6 million.
Eighty cities across the country operating a similar online fundraiser on Tuesday also crashed. The issue was with the platform provider Kimbia in Austin.
Burnam said this has never happened before.
"Our planning platform did not properly run adequate checks on their system to ensure those transactions could be processed in a timely and efficient manner," Burnam said. "As a result, it's what caused the entire shutdown and prevented people from donating."
San Antonio Area Foundation CEO Dennis Noll said that people should still support the 1,054 nonprofit organizations participating in the Big Give SA.
"If you have a favorite charity, or two or three favorite charities, go to their website and continue to make donations. Just because we have a failure here in a national server facility doesn't mean that the charities that we love and that serve San Antonio shouldn't continue to get donations," Noll said.
Nonprofit founder disappointed in Big Give SA website glitch
Jay Pennington, founder of SApets.com, said at about midnight, the Big Give's website stopped working on his older operating system, Windows XP Pro.
"They just didn't test things," Pennington said. "And when there was a suggestion from bringing up a problem, they didn't really respond."
Pennington said his issue is not with the Big Give SA, but with its platform provider.
"A lot of nonprofits that rely on today for their budget for the rest of the year, they're not getting the amount of money they expected to get this year," Pennington said.
Organizers hope to have things back up and running Wednesday for people to make donations through the Big Give website.