Charities hold statewide donation blitz

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Charities hold statewide donation blitz

Mazie Bryant

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The citizens of Alabama will have the opportunity to join forces and donate money to their favorite charities through the first Alabama Gives Day on Thursday, Feb. 2. Donors will be able to associate their contributions with the University of Alabama in order to keep track of donations.

The Alabama Association of Nonprofits, working together with the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Razoo Foundation, is using the power of the Internet to make the process of donation quick and easy on this day. Using an online platform, donors will have a 24-hour window starting at midnight on Feb. 2 to access more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations in an effort to promote giving in the state of Alabama.

“This event was created to have one huge splash, one collective day of giving,” said Russell Jackson, manager of Alabama Gives Day. “Many nonprofits don’t have the opportunity to use the method of online giving or effective promotion through social media. We are uniting these organizations in a safe and easy environment.”

Previously successful statewide fundraisers inspired the idea for an Alabama Gives Day. Three years ago, Minnesota hosted the first Give to the Max Day, and Colorado soon followed suit. In 2011, Minnesota received $13.4 million in donations, and Colorado received $12 million.

“We really found our inspiration to create an Alabama Gives Day through looking at Minnesota and Colorado,” Jackson said. “They created an incredible and diverse nonprofit base to collaborate and gather on the same level to create awareness for their causes.”

Partnering with the ABA has given the fundraising campaign a productive way to inexpensively market the event. Radio stations and television stations are using 15- and 30-second spots to make announcements promoting the event.

“The ABA is working to coordinate all radio and television stations to provide them with the tools to make Alabamians aware of the great opportunity that they have to give and reach out in their communities,” said Sharon Tinsley, president of the ABA. “We are just trying to remind people of the importance of donation. When you help a nonprofit, you help your neighbor.”

Bama Gives Day, an offshoot of Alabama Gives Day, is an opportunity for the University of Alabama to monitor the impact they are making in the community. On Feb. 2, students can use a special link or QR codes found on posters around campus to affiliate their donation with the University of Alabama.

“Bama Gives Day is specific for the University of Alabama,” said Susan Griffiths, a member of UA’s Capstone Agency. “Students can see how much they raise, and eventually, we want to make it a competition among colleges to see who can raise the most money. It’s important to see how much students do care for and respect the community.”

Nonprofit organizations in the Tuscaloosa area hope to benefit from the heavy promotion of the fundraiser among citizens and students.

“We hope to unite our current donors and potential new donors to grow our organization,” said Suzanne Dowling, executive director of Tuscaloosa’s Arts ‘n Autism, an after school program for children with autism. “We provide a great service to the community, and we want to get our program out there to show what we can bring.”

Donors can visit to register for the event and receive more information about the innovative method of online giving.


To donate to Alabama Gives Day, log on to any time after midnight on Feb. 2.