Nonprofits worry after glitch causes Big Give SA to fall short of expectations

2016 donations fall short by more than $2 million

SAN ANTONIO – The Big Give may have meant some big shortfalls for nonprofits after technical issues kept people from donating for much of Tuesday.

Although the site went back online for Wednesday, donations fell more than $2 million short of the expected goal. That's money that might have made it to nonprofit coffers during the highly publicized giving drive.

"Certainly many of them did not reach their goals," said John Burnam, a member of the Big Give SA's planning team.

The issues definitely worked against Carolyn Hinojosa's organization, Izabella's Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation. It's an all-volunteer operation, and the budget is basically hand to mouth.

So having fallen almost $600 short of its $1,500 goal for the Big Give, Hinojosa said some dogs might have to wait for heart worm treatment, though she said she'd never let a dog go without.

"If something happens and it is necessary then yes I will pull out of my own bank account to help pay for it," Hinojosa said.

As a small organization, ICRR may have been one of many to fall through the cracks.

"Typically in these instances the organizations that were probably hit the hardest - we don't know officially - but probably hit the hardest were our small nonprofits who really rely heavily on us and really rely heavily on our grassroots platform to reach new donors," Burnam said.

On the other hand, The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center was able to surpass its goal for the Big Give said spokeswoman Katy Silva. It just had to collect about half of that money itself.

"We had patrons call in, frustrated saying 'We can't donate on the Big Give site. What's going on?'" Silva said. "And we had to react and say 'Go to our website! You can still donate."

Hinojosa says while some supporters donated through PayPal or mailed checks for them, ICRR still missed out on some donations. Next year, she said, they'll have a backup ready to go.

The Big Give SA will hold a town hall meeting at 9 a.m. Friday at the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church. Burnam said the CEO of Kimbia, the payment processing company, will be there.

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