Job one for the fifth Big Day of Giving on Thursday is to avoid the website crash that marred the Sacramento area’s online donation event last year.
Job two is to convince residents that with the Trump administration putting social programs on the chopping block, it’s even more important to give.
The Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which oversees the event, says all is in order. It hired a new vendor that will work only on the local event, not the 50-plus around the nation as in 2016.
Extending the day by 15 hours, last year’s event still raised a record $7.1 million. But the number of donors – 13,800 – fell way short of the 30,000 target. To reach that goal this year, the minimum online gift is $15, reduced from $25.
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The Big Day of Giving is more important than ever as the president puts social programs on the chopping block.
This year’s 24-hour fundraising blitz, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, comes at a time of great uncertainty surrounding our new president.
Groups such as Meals on Wheels and Planned Parenthood have already benefited from anti-Trump backlash. Some participating nonprofits are putting themselves in the resistance to Donald Trump. For instance, Public Health Advocates, which seeks to get soda and junk food out of schools, said it needs cash to make up for budget cuts from Washington.
“Trump has publicly called California ‘out of control,’ ” it says in one solicitation. “What he really means is California is acting outside of his control. You bet we are!”
The Big Day of Giving is crucial for nonprofits around the Sacramento region, not only for the money they raise in one big chunk, but also for the training their fundraisers get and for the lasting publicity they can reap.
The foundation reviews the nonprofits that want to be part of the day. That led to the removal of Courage Worldwide Inc., which is trying to reopen its home north of Sacramento for sex trafficking victims, due to concerns over its financial operations.
On the Big Day of Giving website, you can do your own vetting of each group – programs, management, financials. You can search for a nonprofit by category – arts, education, housing, mental health, recreation and more.
There’s a worthy cause to appeal to everyone, so if you’re able, give generously.