The third annual Georgia Gives Day raked in more money for nonprofits than the last two years combined.
The 24-hour window of charitable online giving will put $2,308,523 in the pockets of 1,200 nonprofits statewide. The Community Foundation of Central Georgia reported that $320,499 was donated to 155 nonprofits in the 20-county area, plus $90,500 in locally awarded money.
Three Middle Georgia nonprofits were among the top 10 in the state for having the most donors.
Georgia Military College Foundation Inc. won fourth place with 379 total donors, Habitat for Humanity Milledgeville took sixth place with 352 donors, and Wesleyan College won eighth place with 285 donors.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided additional incentive gifts to participating nonprofits in Bibb, Baldwin, and Muscogee counties. The Donor Dash race for each county came with a prize of an extra $2,500 and was awarded to the top 10 nonprofits with the most donors. The Dollar Holler race came with a prize of an extra $1,000 and was awarded to the top three nonprofits with the largest dollar amount raised.
In Baldwin County, the Georgia Military College Foundation topped the charts in both the Donor Dash and Dollar Holler races.
Mark Strom, executive director of the school’s foundation, said the $120,700 donated was a result of team effort from all nine campuses.
“We engaged all of our campuses throughout the state to raise money for scholarships for students,” Strom said. “Our public affairs office ... lead a really, really strong effort using both our Facebook platform as well as Twitter to drive interest. The hashtag we used was #GMCgives.”
Several hundred students on the school’s Milledgeville campus made contributions to the foundation to dress down for a day, Strom said. But those donations were made in cash and didn’t count online.
“The actual number (of donors) probably would have been significantly higher,” Strom said. “My guess is we would have topped out ... probably closer to 700 or 800.”
Habitat for Humanity in Milledgeville placed second in both Baldwin County races with 352 donors and $18,304 in donations.
In Bibb County, Wesleyan College placed first in the Donor Dash race and second in the Dollar Holler race with $14,089 donated.
The Methodist Home of the South Georgia Conference placed first in Bibb County’s Dollar Holler race by raising $32,566 from 51 donors.
Jim Waters, director of donor relations, said people respect The Methodist Home in the community and show it through donations.
“I think people just resonate with our mission. Our mission is to restore childhoods and strengthen families and do all that in response to the Lord’s leading,” Waters said. “People know when they give their money to The Methodist Home that it’s right here in the community and that the money will go directly for the care of these kids. ... Without the community, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
For more information, visit: www.gagivesday.org .
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4382.