Nonprofits Inspire Local Giving

Greater New Haven nonprofits inspire the community during The Great Give 2018®

Organizations Create Excitement For Philanthropy

Appreciation for nonprofit work filled social media feeds during The Great Give 2018®

Leading up to and during the 36-hour online giving event, nonprofits hosted happy hours, held open houses and peppered in-boxes and social media feeds with creative and informative posts about their impactful work. The efforts were especially important to those nonprofits most affected by State budget woes and federal policy changes.

Many took advantage The Great Give®'s new platform that enabled peer-to-peer giving. The feature allows supporters to fundraise on an organization's behalf. Also new was the ability to create donor match pools. The result was that more than 11,000 Greater New Haven residents took part in local philanthropy in support of nonprofits of all sizes. As in past years, many of the top fundraisers were small nonprofits.

"They (donors) came out in droves," said Chris George, executive director of Immigration Refugee and Resettlement Services (IRIS), which received most money of any nonprofit, $66,000 including prizes.

In addition to raising money for essential programming, George said The Great Give® results were uplifting to the IRIS staff and refugees during a time of divisive rhetoric around immigration.

"The fact that a refugee and resettlement agency raised more money than any other nonprofit tells the refugees that they are welcome here," said George.

Several organizations including Best Video Film & Cultural Center and New Haven Land Trust hosted happy hours in stores and at local pubs. Many organizations used creative videos and personal emails to appeal to donors.

Elm City Montessori School parents got into fundraising spirit through a friendly competition between classrooms to see which one could raise the most money. The strategy resulted in the school more than doubling their donations over last year and winning the grand prize for most new donors.

"This Great Give was truly a labor of love. We are inspired by the generosity and commitment of everyone who contributed and by the amazing staff and classroom teams who led our outreach efforts to families and friends, said Elm City Montessori School Executive Director Eliza Halsey.

Pantochino Productions, a Milford-based professional theater company, was another small organization that performed well, raising $18,755.

Bert Bernardi, a co-producer at Pantochino, said he reached out personally to many donors and asked them to think about the first time they saw a show or stepped onto a stage.

"Our closest friends and supporters were able to rally support," said Bert. "Everyone who fundraised on our behalf met their fundraising goals."

Did you know?

The Great Give 2018® raised more than $1.7 Million for nonprofits serving the Greater New Haven region.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
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