Regional Day of Giving donations top $1M goal |

Regional Day of Giving donations top $1M goal

Jeff Himler
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Clients line up as volunteers distribute food at the Westmoreland County Food Bank in February 2017.

More than 350 Western Pennsylvania nonprofits raised more than $1.3 million in less than 20 hours during the nation’s sixth annual Giving Tuesday campaign, initial fundraising totals show.

The top charitable recipient, Light of Life Rescue Mission in Pittsburgh’s North Side, generated nearly $150,000 from about 354 donors as of 8 p.m., with four hours left in the 24-hour campaign hosted at .

The nonprofit, which supports men, women and children in need, including by serving up 272,000 meals a year and sheltering about 125 to 155 people each night, raised nearly $70,000 last year.

“It’s exciting, this is the most we’ve raised for Giving Tuesday,” said Kate Wadsworth, spokeswoman for Light of Life. “We’re just happy people really care about the people that we serve and are able to support us and support them financially. And we’re so excited for the other nonprofits that are seeing funds coming through this as well, even smaller ones that might not have as much of an opportunity to put on big fundraisers.”

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, more than 5,000 donors had contributed more than $1.32 million across 375 organizations via GiveBigPittsburgh.

Latrobe-based Adelphoi, a nonprofit that has grown from a group home for troubled boys to a network of human services programs for children, youth and families, had collected about $1,750 in donations. That’s enough to provide holiday gifts for 35 of the children in Adelphoi’s residential and foster care programs, who usually are unable to return home for Christmas.

Adelphoi hoped to raise $5,000 by midnight Tuesday, enough for 100 gifts. It’s part of the organizations Give a Gift, Give Hope campaign that will continue through Christmas, with a total goal of $200,000 in donations — enough to provide gifts for 400 children enrolled in the organization’s programs.

“We want to make sure our kids have a bright Christmas,” Adelphoi spokeswoman Karyn Pratt said. “We feel that our donors can really relate to that idea.”

Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States, the Giving Tuesday mass fundraising effort dates to 2012, when the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City and United Nations Foundation teamed to establish a global day of charitable contributions. Last year, the day netted more than $300 million in donations across 150 countries.

In Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Magazine led the regional Giving Tuesday push with a centralized website for vetting nonprofits and managing Giving Tuesday donations via online fundraising platform GiveGab. The site measures donations with a leaderboard and offers cash and other prizes to nonprofits that hit milestones such as the first to reach 100 donors or the most collected overnight.

Pittsburgh Magazine publisher Betsy Benson said earlier in the day the campaign was on pace to surpass last year’s 24-hour total of $1.3 million.

The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County is a partner of the campaign, along with The Pittsburgh Foundation.

“It’s historically been a really galvanizing, exciting opportunity for people in the region to go to the nonprofits that they find to be most effective and most closely connected to,” The Pittsburgh Foundation spokesman Doug Root said. “We are a partner this year, and we expect to contribute in other ways next year, by steering our donors toward the opportunity.”

Individual nonprofits promoted the campaign via email alerts, social media posts and pledges to match large pots of money.

The Pittsburgh Symphony met its goal by 5 p.m., unlocking $100,000 in matching funds as the nonprofit urged donors via email to generate another $10,000 by midnight. The symphony had received $61,000 from 265 donors by 9 p.m.

By 6 p.m., the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus was $1,635 shy of its $3,500 goal.

Humane Animal Rescue, formed when Animal Rescue League merged with the Humane Society of Western Pennsylvania, generated the most donors — more than 650 individual donations. Light of Life drew the second highest number of donors, 354, while Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh each received donations from more than 270 people.

GiveGab does not charge nonprofits but retains a 2 percent management fee per contribution, capped at $20 per donation, plus 2.2 percent or 30 cents for credit card processing. All funds will be disbursed to the nonprofit recipients within 24 to 48 hours.

In addition to cash, participating charities also accept donations of time and other types of support.

Giving Tuesday: Top 10 recipients in greater Pittsburgh

Here are the nonprofits that raised the most money via the GiveBigPittsburgh online donation platform on Giving Tuesday 2018*:

1). Light of Life Rescue Mission, $143,000 (333 donors)

2). Humane Animal Rescue, $65,000 (606 donors)

3). Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, $61,000 (265 donors)

4). Global Links, $48,000 (78 donors)

5). North Hills Community Outreach, $45,000 (85 donors)

6). Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh, $40,000 (177 donors)

7). Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, $25,000 (84 donors)

8). Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, $26,000 (210 donors)

9). Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, $25,000 (260 donors)

10). Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, $24,000 (194 donors)

*Amounts raised as of 9 p.m. Donation window closes at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 27.


Staff writer Natasha Lindstrom contributed. Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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