Georgia Gives Day group

Individuals representing nonprofits from across the state hold signs promoting Georgia Gives Day at a 2017 rally at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Gives Day broke a record for the most number of donors contributing funds to the state’s nonprofits.

Georgia Gives Day, the state’s version of Giving Tuesday, the national initiative where individuals can donate to their favorite charity the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, took place Dec. 1.

The event is hosted annually by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and the number of donors this year compared to 2019 increased by 45% from 11,795 to more than 17,000 on gagives.org, the center’s website through which individuals can donate to more than 43,000 nonprofits in the state.

This year’s day collected $3.3 million through gagives.org and a total of $24.9 million through all the websites and social media platforms the center tracks, with the total number of donors 260,546. Last year Georgia Gives Day brought in $13.5 million, nearly double the 2018 total of $7.8 million.

“We are phenomenally pleased,” said Karen Beavor, the center’s president and CEO. “With everything that’s gone on in 2020, we were very hopeful we could at least meet what we did last year. This was an 84% increase (in the total amount donated across all platforms), so we think that’s just fantastic.”

Georgia Strategic Alliance for New Directions and Unified Policies (Georgia STAND-UP) collected the most funds among the state’s nonprofits through gagives.org, at $83,445.11.

According to its website, Georgia STAND-UP is group of state leaders “that represents community, faith, academic and labor organizations that organize and educate communities about issues related to economic development.” Its mission is to “build partnerships and develop leaders to foster civic engagement and maximize voter participation.”

Animal rescue groups were the popular among donors; they represented six of the nine state nonprofits that generated the most funds on Georgia Gives Day.

“I think we always know Georgians are very generous, but it was so great to see people step up in the way we could,” Beavor said of the day as a whole. “The real story is we had more donors,. We had more donors on Giving Tuesday and in the platform. We think that’s so important that this time, when so many people need the help.”

In May the center hosted a COVID-19 edition of Georgia Gives Day and raised $1.3 million for the state’s nonprofits through gagives.org. Beavor said the unofficial grand total, including all social media platforms, was $3.5 million to $4 million. While it included the same nonprofits as its traditional December donation day, it focused more on ways to help organizations hit hard by the pandemic.

Of Georgia Gives Day’s Dec. 1 event, Beavor said, “Thank you to everyone who gave. The giving goes on. If people have extra dollars or the will to give at the end of the year, there are nonprofits that need it. (Visit) gagives.org to find the organization you feel good about.”

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