BY CANDY PARKER
In 2013, its inaugural year, National Give OUT Day allowed over 400 LGBTQ organizations from across the U.S. to raise over $600,000 as more than 5,500 donors stepped up to participate in the event.
Conceived and funded in part by Charlie Rounds, Board Chair of the IGLTA Foundation, and his husband Mark Hiemenz, and organized by Bolder Giving and Razoo, National Give OUT Day is a 24-hour online fundraising competition that unites the LGBTQ community to raise vitally needed funds to support a wide array of LGBTQ nonprofits.
This year, Thursday, May 15, has been designated as National Give OUT Day and nonprofits across the U.S., Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., are hoping that the LGBTQ community and their allies will take the opportunity to put their money where their pride is by making a donation to the LGBTQ organization of their choice between 12:00a.m. and 11:59p.m. ET that day.
In addition to the individual contributions received, the three organizations with highest dollar volume in donations will also receive cash prizes, as will the top three groups in each of the states/regions with prize boards. The Transgender Law Center (TLC) in Oakland, California, was the fundraising leader for Give OUT Day 2013, garnering $17,000 in individual donations and an additional $11,000 in prize grants.
“We’re certainly not the largest, nor the most resourced – so it still feels a little like a David and Goliath situation,” said Shawn Demmons, TLC’s board vice chair in an interview with EDGE Media. “To be honest though, I hope even more organizations participate. The whole point is to increase giving to LGBTQ causes and we’re all in this together. Look at what’s possible when we come together for a common purpose – last year, Give OUT Day generated over $600,000 on a single day. That’s huge!”
With more than 500 nonprofits participating this year, organizers are hoping the 2014 event will generate donations in excess of $1,000,000 from 10,000 donors as awareness of the event expands. The minimum allowable donation is $10; no upper limit on contributions is imposed.
“Give OUT Day is an unparalleled opportunity for even small LGBTQ nonprofits to reach new donors. And, as the same time, by making information on the nonprofits so readily available, Give OUT Day empowers both long-time and newer donors to support causes they care about,” said Roger Doughty, Executive Director of the Horizons Foundation, sponsor of two of the nine prize boards across the country.
Last year, over one third of all donors discovered a new group to support on Give OUT Day and 13 percent were first time donors to an LGBTQ organization. Further, 81 percent of participating groups reported receiving gifts from new donors and 82 percent reported raising larger donations from their current donors.
Some organizations are taking the opportunity to partner with outside groups to maximize the fundraising effort. For instance, Rounds’ International Gay Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation entered into a high-level marketing partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau via which individual donations made to IGLTA Foundation will be matched, up to $15,000.
“Giving Day campaigns across the country have been successful at raising millions of dollars for nonprofits. What’s more, this model has proven to bring in new donors and new dollars, complimenting and amplifying nonprofits’ existing fundraising efforts,” said Charlie Rounds. “We come together as a community around so many things – Pride, sports, cultural events and elections. This allows us to come together one day a year to give back.”
For more information on National Give OUT Day please visit their website and watch the video below.