Big Give organizers shoot for a record-high $7M in fundraising

Daylong fundraising drive starts at midnight Thursday, Mar. 22

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Hundreds of nonprofits from 14 counties are gearing up for the Big Give on Thursday, a 24-hour fundraising drive that can provide a big boost to their bottom line.

In its fifth year, the Big Give SA  — the main drive — will take place from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., though the website is already open for donations. Only 621 nonprofit groups are signed up this year, compared to the peak of 1,048 in 2016, but organizers hope to raise a combined $7 million this year, which would be a record for San Antonio.

This will also be the first year the Big Give will take place in March instead of the first week of May. One of the organizers cited the Tricentennial, Fiesta and possible Spurs playoff runs as reasons to change the date.

"Year one, when we had Big Give on that first Thursday in May, there was a game, and at 7 o'clock, the donations just stopped. It was unbelievable," said Scott McAninch, CEO of The Nonprofit Council, which partnered with the San Antonio Area Foundation as the lead agency for the Big Give.

The Big Give has raised nearly $15 million for local nonprofits over its previous four years, according to a press release from The Nonprofit Council. However, the years haven't all been successes.

Technical issues in 2016 shut down the website midway through the day. Even with an extra day of giving, nonprofits grabbed only $3.6 million of their $6 million goal.

However, organizers brought on a new platform provider for the 2017 Big Give, which proved to be a success.

"I think we have a lot more excitement because people did see the site last year, saw the functionality. I think donors were happy with the experience," McAninch said.

Hopefully happy enough to donate big again.

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