Big Give SA adds registration fee this year to ensure sustainability

$200 upfront participation fee lowers back end fees

SAN ANTONIO – It takes money to make money, at least according to organizers of the Big Give SA.

While preparations are underway for the fourth year of fundraising for local nonprofit organizations, some nonprofits are learning of the first-ever participation service charge of $200.

For many nonprofits, the 24-hour day of online giving provides funds to carry out their missions.

The youth development program Girls on the Run of Bexar County is just one that sees the value in participating in the Big Give.

"It's great exposure, for one thing, and it's no money lost," Girls on the Run of Bexar County executive director Minka Misangyi said. "I mean, it's extra, hopefully extra money we might not necessarily have received so we'll definitely participate."

But Misangyi was surprised to find out about the upfront service fee, which was initiated following last year's technical difficulties when the Big Give's website crashed.

In 2016, Girls on the Run of Bexar County had a $10,000 goal and earned $4,220, according to a list of donations raised provided by the Big Give. This year the nonprofit has the same goal of $10,000.

The Nonprofit Council executive director Scott McAninch explained the back end fees are now reduced because of the upfront service fee. The explanation can be found on the Big Give's frequently asked questions page on its website.

"In years past, it's been 8 percent on the back end that we take out of the online donations. This year, it's 6.2 percent and that's because the website company that we're going with this year is less than what we've been paying in the past," McAninch said.

So far, the fee doesn't seem to be deterring nonprofits. The number of them signed up for the Big Give so far is about the same as in previous years.

The organization will also be hosting three “boot camps” this week. All three are free to nonprofits.

Schreiner University, 2100 Memorial Blvd., Kerrville, 78028 Thursday, February 9, 9-11 a.m.

McKenna Events Center, 801 West San Antonio Street, New Braunfels, 78130 Thursday, February 9, 3-5 p.m.

Whitley Theological Center, 285 Oblate Dr., San Antonio, 78216 Friday, February 10, 9-11 a.m.