#GivingTuesdayNow, the second day of donating to the state’s nonprofits hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, was a resounding success, said its organizer.

“I think we were really proud of it,” said Karen Beavor, president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, which organized the May 5 event. “To pull something like that off in 30 days was great. We have great media partners that really help us out spreading the world, and then all the nonprofits running their social media campaigns helped. I think it went really well.”

#GivingTuesdayNow raised $1.26 million for the state’s nonprofits through the center’s website, and gathered even more through donations made directly through each organization’s own website.

Georgia Gives Day, the annual event in which the Peach State’s nonprofits unite for a statewide fundraising effort, is normally held in late November or early December on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (last year it was Dec. 3). Also called Giving Tuesday, it’s Georgia’s version of an international fundraiser in the same format and is also hosted by the center.

That event raised $14 million for the state’s nonprofits last year, with $4 million collected through the center’s website, which Beavor said gets no funds for serving as a middleman in fundraising. By comparison, she said organizers have at least eight months to plan for the Dec. 3 event versus a month for the May 5 one.

Beavor said Georgia Gives Day had about 14,000 donations through the center’s website in December. The May event garnered 8,573 donations supporting 716 organizations through the website.

According to information provided by the center, the five organizations that raised the most funds online and offline May 5 were: PAWS Atlanta ($61,608), the Center for Puppetry Arts ($57,612.16), Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters ($56,839.50), New American Pathways ($50,340.01) and LifeLine Animal Project ($31,893.35).

According to the center’s website, Metropolitan Counseling Services Inc. was also one of the more successful nonprofits May 5, receiving 67 donations totaling nearly $10,000, its goal.

However, Beavor said, the outbreak continues to wreak havoc on Georgia’s nonprofits.

“It’s very difficult,” she said. “Either you’re dealing with vulnerable populations and the demand for services is through the roof, or you’re running an organization that is running an arts program or something like a camp. A lot of the camps are (being cancelled) right now. A lot of the arts organizations are really suffering from the shutdown.

“Every nonprofit, whether you’re serving vulnerable populations or not, you’re missing out on your spring fundraising events. The specter of the state (budget) cuts is another issue. It’s going to be a huge problem.”

Beavor also thanked everyone who donated May 5, adding anyone can give on any day by visiting www.gagives.org.

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