Our Community Rocks…Sometimes Technology Doesn’t
First, we would like to take a moment to thank the entire Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore community – especially the many nonprofits, donors, volunteers, sponsors and businesses that make Give Local 757 possible. In spite of technical issues, Give Local 757 broke another record receiving 7,751 gifts totaling more than $600,000 for 223 local nonprofits, a 40% increase over last year.
It takes a small village to host an event like Give Local 757 and when the national giving platform, KIMBIA, experienced monumental technical issues, our region pulled together, supported each other, and proved nothing is impossible. It was amazing to watch our community rally around the nonprofits who had deployed hundreds of volunteers and spent thousands of hours over several months preparing for the event.
Our television, radio, print and billboard partners were exceptional! Beginning weeks before the event, and throughout the hours of giving, WVEC encouraged their audiences to donate by sharing the stories of our local nonprofits and how they are making our community a better place to live, work and play. Not to mention, they extended their coverage once we extended our hours. Sinclair Communications helped spread the word on all their radio stations and the Daily Press and Virginian Pilot offered 1000s of dollars in advertising. Our presenting partner, Bank of America, came through with additional large donations. Langley Federal Credit Union extended their hours and processed over $40,000 in check donations; and Rubin Communications spread the word of the extension of hours to the Hampton Roads media. Even the nonprofits who were most affected by the technical failure in the height of the crisis were emailing us with empathy, support and words of encouragement.
Give Local 757 is not just about raising much needed funds for local nonprofits. The event also provides the platform for these nonprofits to tell their stories and receive training that encourages them to embrace technology and build their capacity in marketing and social media. And because they took that leap and you gave — books are being delivered to children through literacy programs; returning soldiers will have the services they need to lead more fulfilling lives; scholarships will be offered to children to experience the arts; people with intellectual disabilities will be offered more community activities and advocacy.
What we learned is that our community is formidable even when technology isn’t. Some might say, “Our philanthropy broke the internet!” But what we prefer to say is that we are #757Strong, proving yet again, philanthropy is thriving in our region. While our story is still being written, we are grateful to live in a region where people genuinely care and give back to this community we call home.
And finally, as we begin to look ahead, we will continue to lead this campaign, while sharing best practices and data openly with one another for the benefit of us all. The leadership team will be getting together soon to talk about how to ensure that Give Local 757 in 2017 will be a philanthropic and technical success. This is not simply a giving day, but an evolving, learning, philanthropic ecosystem and social movement we are proud to be a part of.
Hampton Roads Community Foundation
Peninsula Community Foundation
Southeast Virginia Community Foundation