Americano Foods and FirstBank Team Up to Support Lebanon Relief

Pictured: Jeff and Denise Malkoon, owners, Americano Foods; submitted photo

Yesterday, Americano Foods announced that the company will contribute 100 percent of proceeds from online sales throughout September to relief work in Beirut, Lebanon. FirstBank has agreed to match money raised throughout the month.

Devastated watching the Beirut explosion and economic situation in the country, company co-owners Denise and Jeff Malkoon, who are third-generation Phoenicians of Lebanese descent, were inspired to do as much as possible to serve those in need.

“The effort to rebuild the city of Beirut will take years but hospitals like the Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon who serve the most vulnerable don’t have that time and need our help now,” owner Jeff Malkoon shared on Twitter.

“It’s heartbreaking that more than 300,000 human beings are still displaced following the August explosions,” said Joel Johnson, FirstBank Arizona market president. “FirstBank is honored to work with Americano Foods, a local company taking initiative to support a community trying to recover from a disaster.”

From now until the end of September, 100 percent of proceeds from the online shop ( will go directly to Beirut-based Children’s Cancer Center of Lebanon, an affiliate of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital that serves childhood cancer patients of all ages and was deeply affected by the recent explosion.

Join a Day of Giving to Help Area Nonprofits Feeling the Impact of Coronavirus

Arizona Gives Day 2020 is April 7

Nearly 1,000 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations have registered for the 24-hour online fundraising event, Arizona Gives Day, which begins at 12:01am Tuesday, April 7.

Last year, Arizona Gives Day raised $3.6 million to bring the total since 2013 to $17 million, “but we’ve never gone into Arizona Gives Day in such an uncertain environment making this year’s event even more critical for nonprofit organizations of every size in every community that are facing severe financial challenges in their ability to provide services and resources to their communities,” said Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “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.”

Presented by FirstBank and in collaboration with Arizona Grantmakers Forum, Arizona Gives Day early giving, which began March 17, already has generated $233,000 for the 975 registered nonprofits and nearly $10,000 has been contributed to the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund that gives donors the option to add donations at check out. All Emergency Relief Fund donations will be distributed evenly among all participating organizations.

A recent Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits survey put the projected financial impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic that has caused many cancellations and postponements reaching at a minimum of $36 million.

There are two ways to donate to Arizona nonprofits during this critical time:

  • Donate now during the early giving period or on Arizona Gives Day, tomorrow, April 7 at
  • Donate directly to the Emergency Relief Fund: as an add-on at checkout once a donor gives to a particular nonprofit on Arizona Gives Day or by directly visiting

Donors may 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. Arizona Gives Day, a collaboration between the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum, is an annual online giving movement uniting nonprofits to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Arizona through giving.

For interested donors, offers an advanced search filter to find nonprofits by specific criteria, area of focus, and which donations may qualify as an Arizona tax credit. Donors also can create an account to pre-schedule donations or can check out as a guest, set up recurring donations, and make changes to their giving throughout the year.

For more information, visit

ID 111934679 © Roman Doroshenko |

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 |CST

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”

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


Nonprofit Registration and Re-enrollment Open for 2019 Arizona Gives Day

Registration and re-enrollment are open for Arizona nonprofits interested in participating in Arizona Gives Day, a 24-hour online fundraising event, set for April 2, 2019. Re-enrollment is required annually and can be completed at before March 1, 2019. The registration deadline for new nonprofits is Feb. 22.

Arizona Gives Day — which is presented by FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good” — raised $3.2 million in 2018 and has totaled more than $13.4 million since its inception. The 24-hour event is hosted by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and the Arizona Grantmakers Forum. Matson Money is the Platinum Sponsor.

In addition to submitting general information about the nonprofit, registering or re-enrolling agencies should provide their IRS Determination Letter; the most current completed financials through Form 990 or the organization’s operating budget; a bank account and routing number for electronic distribution of donations.

“We have made substantial improvements to the website to streamline the process and offer additional resources for participating nonprofits,” said Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits CEO Kristen Merrifield. “Our ultimate goal is to provide critically important donations that enable Arizona nonprofits of every size to continue the good work they do in communities across the state.”

Among the changes for 2019:

  • A “roadmap” to guide nonprofits through the registration process
  • Employee giving landing pages and a business leaderboard page to engage employees in Arizona Gives Day
  • The opportunity to submit a request for support

A nominal $50 refundable deposit at re-enrollment or registration. The deposit will be refunded if the nonprofit raises $500 or more through the platform from April 1–15. The refund will be included in the first distribution of funds in early May. Nonprofits failing to pay the deposit will not be listed on the Arizona Gives Day website and will not receive support materials.

“We believe the nominal registration fee will provide more equity for all nonprofits that utilize the fundraising tools made available through Arizona Gives Day,” Merrifield said. “In recent years, we have seen nonprofits register for Arizona Gives Day and take advantage of the resources and tools and then not participate online or raise little-to-no-funds. This puts an additional burden on those organizations who do raise funds on to sustain the program on behalf of everyone else.”

For interested donors, is available for year-round giving and offers an advanced search filter to find nonprofits by specific criteria, area of focus, and which donations may qualify as an Arizona tax credit. Donors also can create an account to pre-schedule donations or can check out as a guest, set up recurring donations, and make changes to their giving throughout the year.

“We want to make giving as easy as possible, and donors have shared they like having a place that has a whole list of nonprofits to choose from,” Merrifield said.

The website will provide a toolkit for participating nonprofits to assist in outreach through social media, email, and news releases. It also will offer offering training videos, promotional posters and flyers, logos, best practices, and successful fundraising strategies used by other nonprofits.

For more information, visit

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