A Time to Rally for Valley Nonprofits

Arizona Gives Day 2020

By Kathryn M. Miller ~ Arizona Gives Day is an annual, online giving movement aimed at celebrating and increasing philanthropy in Arizona through a 24-hour online giving event,

A collaboration between the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, with FirstBank as the presenting sponsor, the event helps raise awareness about the critical role Arizona nonprofits play in communities and inspires people to give generously creating a thriving and stronger Arizona for all. This year’s event is scheduled for April 7, and the need for support has never been greater.

As April begins, the world finds itself living in unprecedented times. In Arizona, schools are on hiatus, many businesses are temporarily closed or working at half-capacity, events have been postponed or canceled and Valley organizations and institutions — those that serve the most vulnerable among us and those that bring us hope, light and beauty — are struggling to adapt and meet the needs of those they serve.

At the same time that some Valley nonprofits are forced to cancel their spring fundraisers they are also seeing an increase in needs. Shoebox Ministry in North Phoenix is one such organization. The nonprofit coordinates the collection and distribution of toiletry items for people in the Phoenix Metro area who are experiencing homelessness and others who need but cannot afford hygiene items. [Read “Serving the Valley’s Most Vulnerable” on page 10.]

“We have postponed our first-ever fundraising breakfast that was scheduled for Friday, April 3,” says Jarrett Ransom, executive director. “At that event, we planned to showcase the Shoebox history, the hard work we are currently doing to serve the hygiene needs in our community and share our plans for the future. Our fundraising goal for the event was to raise $50,000 and since we no longer have that opportunity and we’re experiencing a surge in the demand for our services, we’re in need of support more than ever. As we move our fundraising to only an online platform, we are working to create ways to engage through video and continue to raise the funds we so desperately need.”

“One of our biggest challenges at the moment is the need to order hygiene items in bulk (and the funds to do so). Bulk products enable us to limit contact with in-kind donors and increases our efficiencies when we lack a volunteer base to help us count and sort items and pack kits.”

Shoebox Ministry is not alone. Many food banks and other social services are feeling extra pressure as Arizona’s unemployment numbers climb amid the spread of the coronavirus. In addition, many of the nonprofit arts institutions have been negatively impacted by closures — with major events canceled and theaters, museums and libraries closed.

The Alliance kicked off early giving March 17, in an effort to address some of the more immediate needs. In addition, a group of donors has provided separate funding to waive payment processing fees normally paid by nonprofits participating in the Arizona Gives Day.

“What this means is more money goes directly to the nonprofits at a time that has never been more critical because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “Nonprofits have always had to cover the 2.1 percent fee charged by the payment processor. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’re able to waive that fee.”

“The beauty of Arizona Gives Day is that it shows what is possible when we all invest our time, talents and treasures to truly lift the tide of all nonprofits that participate,” said Merrifield.

It is going to take more than one day of giving for many Valley nonprofits to recover, but Arizona Gives Day is a positive way to start. Learn more at www.azgives.org. |CST

Early Giving for Arizona Gives Day Begins March 17 — Registration Re-Opened for Nonprofits That Needed to Cancel Fundraisers

Early giving begins this week for donors participating in the eighth annual Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour statewide online fundraising event scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.  In addition, registration for this year’s event has been re-opened for nonprofit organizations that had to cancel fundraisers because of concerns about the coronavirus. Registration deadline is Friday, March 27.

Donors also will have the option to increase donations to support an Emergency Relief Fund to assist nonprofits having to cancel critical fundraising events amid COVID-19 health concerns.

Starting Tuesday, March 17, donors can make early donations by visiting the Arizona Gives Day website at www.azgives.org and donate immediately by selecting the “Today” button at checkout. If donors prefer to donate during a specific block of time on Arizona Gives Day to help a nonprofit win a Power Hour an earn additional funds from the prize pool, they will need to donate on April 7 during the appropriate time.

There are two ways to donate to the Emergency Relief Fund: as an add-on at checkout or by visiting www.azgivesaz.org/aznonprofits to make a direct donation to the relief fund.

“Our local nonprofit community is already reporting significant losses, decreases in staff and volunteer capacity and will likely see an increase in demand for services,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “All Emergency Relief Fund donations will be distributed evenly among all Arizona Gives participating organization.”

The public also can support and champion their favorite nonprofit by creating their own fundraising page. Simply to go the specific organization’s profile page at www.azgives.org and click on “Create A Fundraiser” to get started.

Make a Positive Impact on Local Nonprofits — Arizona Gives Day is April 2

With recently enacted changes in tax laws that double the standard deduction, many people who would normally itemize their returns — and be able to deduct donations for charitable giving — may no longer make charitable contributions because there is no financial incentive to do so. In Arizona, that could mean a projected annual loss of $272 million in charitable contributions — and a loss of 10,000 jobs — to the state’s nonprofit sector.

Arizona taxpayers can, however, take the deduction and make contributions by deciding to itemize, and the upcoming Arizona Gives Day may provide the means, motivation and widespread impact to make that happen.

“With Arizona Gives Day approaching on April 2, as well as tax-filing season, we wanted to try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the impact of the new tax laws on donations to qualified, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations,” said Kristen Merrifield, chief executive officer, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Unfortunately, given the changes and resulting confusion, we saw a downward trend in year-end donations to nonprofit organizations across the state. We hope that through Arizona Gives Day, nonprofit organizations doing great work in communities statewide may find new sources of funding and donors may find credible, important local nonprofits to invest in on AZGives.org.”

A report by the Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University estimates that charitable giving could be $272.7 million lower in 2018 following introduction of the Tax Cuts and Job Act (TCJA). Fewer Arizona taxpayers are expected to itemize deductions because the TCJA nearly doubles the federal standard deduction offered to both single and married taxpayers.

The Seidman report indicates the total economic impact will include a $775.4 million reduction in GDP by the state, 10,587 fewer jobs and $493.5 million less in labor income.

Merrifield encourages donors considering contributions to nonprofits through Arizona Gives Day to “be sure to check with their tax consultants regarding the impact of tax-law changes on their personal tax situations.”

Arizona Gives Day is a 24-hour online fund-raising event on April 2 that has raised more than $13.4 million since 2013. Arizona Gives Day, which raised $3.2 million in 2018, is hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and presented by FirstBank. To learn more, visit www.azgives.org.


Online Initiative Gives Boost To Nonprofits

Arizona GivesBy Kathryn M. Miller ~ Wednesday, April 9, is a day for raising awareness…and a day for raising funds. The Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits (Alliance) and Arizona Grantmakers Forum have announced the return of Arizona’s statewide day of giving – Arizona Gives Day 2014.

“After seeing the success of this event last year, we are excited to have this event return in Arizona, and raise more than before,” says Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance. “We hope to have as many as 10,000 Arizonans support our nonprofit community that day, raising much-needed dollars for these worthwhile organizations.”

This one day provides an inspiring way for Arizonans to join forces to help their communities. Supporters can search for participating nonprofits by ZIP code or by cause, and simply click to donate. The donation stays local and helps area nonprofits provide much needed services and support for residents. In addition to fundraising, Arizona Gives Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the state’s nonprofits – an assist that is beneficial all year round. Online donors can spread the word about a favorite charity through their social media networks to not only help boost the giving, but perhaps help some of the lesser-known nonprofits gain some much needed exposure.

Beginning at midnight April 9 and continuing until 1:59pm Arizonans can go online at www.azgives.org and pledge their financial support to the nonprofit of their choice.

From land preservation to arts initiatives; from early childhood education to elder care, participating organizations cover a broad range of interests. Visit www.azgives.org and pledge a donation to a favorite charity, or discover a new cause – and then spread the word and help area nonprofits thrive year-round. |CST

First Arizona Gives Day Huge Success

The numbers are in and Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and Arizona Grantmakers Forum are pleased to announce that the first-ever Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online initiative encouraging residents to recognize and financially support the efforts of various nonprofits, raised $928,541 for the more than 800 registered organizations statewide. In total, 8,584 unique donors took the time to make 11,074 total donations in support of this inaugural initiative.

“We are so proud of the support that was shown by members of our Arizona community on March 20,” says Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “Whether they had a favorite cause or not, Arizonans rose up and explored the many missions of our participating nonprofits and helped show our state’s unparalleled generosity to the world.”

Arizona Gives Day encouraged competitions throughout the course of the day that allowed nonprofits who reached certain milestones to receive additional funding. Those winning these incentive contests were gifted prizes from $1,000 to $20,000 in immediate additional funds.

“The Gives Day movement began in Minnesota four years ago as a way to increase individual giving and help nonprofits raise awareness about their causes,” says Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum. “Each year since, these initiatives have seen increased success and have helped countless organizations continue to provide the services and programs their communities need.”

Today, Gives Days are becoming increasingly more popular, leading many other states like Colorado, Georgia, Alabama and now Arizona to expand the “flash-mob type” movement into their own states.

Inspired by its own inaugural success, the 2014 Arizona Gives Day is already entering into the planning stage with a date to be announced soon.

For more information, visit www.arizonanonprofits.org or www.arizonagrantmakersforum.org.

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