by Wilma Norton in Giving
Tampa Bay Rays, other supporters help kick off Give Day Tampa Bay 2015 campaign
ST. PETERSBURG, Fl. — The Tampa Bay Rays and several nonprofit and corporate supporters helped the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida NEXT Foundation kick off the Give Day Tampa Bay 2015 campaign Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
Give Day Tampa Bay is a 24-hour online giving challenge on May 5, 2015 in which Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando County residents can donate to their favorite causes and charities through GiveDayTampaBay.org. On May 5, anyone in the four-county region can make a minimum $25 donation on the website. Non-profits will compete in challenges throughout the day for their share of a $100,000 prize pool, and there will be events and games for volunteers and donors.
Last year, on May 6, 2014, the inaugural Give Day Tampa Bay raised $1.1 million in a single day from 5,100 individual donors for nearly 400 non-profits across the region.
As part of the nationwide movement of Give Days, the leaders of Give Day Tampa Bay set two major goals for 2015: to increase the number of individual donors to more than 7,000, and to be the top Give Day out of 55 across the nation for mobile device donations. Major sponsors in attendance today included the Tampa Bay Rays, United Way Suncoast and HCI Group.
"It was an easy – and we felt important – decision for the Rays to support Give Day Tampa Bay," said Mark Fernandez, Senior Vice President of the Tampa Bay Rays. "It is a truly exciting and innovative approach to crowdsourcing, and to creating community engagement. We want to be part of changing the culture of philanthropic giving in Tampa Bay."
"Having helped nonprofits with fundraising for 25 years, we know the work that non-profits do helps Tampa Bay be a vibrant, resilient community, a place that people want to come to, want to belong to, and want to invest in," said Marlene Spalten, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. "Tampa Bay ranks 265th in America in terms of giving, and a lot of people in this community, especially our young professionals, said 'we can do better than that, and we are better than that.'"
"As a small nonprofit, we were completely blown away by how Give Day Tampa Bay helped us last year," said Kerri Kibbey, a founding board member of High Risk Hope, a Tampa-based nonprofit. "We raised $15,000 with Give Day Tampa Bay and nearly half of our donors were brand new to us, and this just proves that participating in Give Day Tampa Bay can really expand your nonprofit, and proves the effectiveness of this campaign. Give Day Tampa Bay gave us a platform to show who we are, and what we do."
"We noticed that a lot of nonprofits weren't using the most up-to-date technology, like mobile-optimized websites; we also noticed the rise of crowdfunding campaigns, not only in the startup community, but also the nonprofit community," said Ned Pope, President of the Florida NEXT Foundation. "That's why this year, our goal is to lead all Give Days across the nation in mobile device donations. We want to make giving to a cause you're passionate about as impulsive and easy as downloading a song on iTunes."