The Great Give is a first-time, 24-hour online fundraiser organized by the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC). From 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15 to 7 p.m. on May, 16, 2013. The Anne Arundel County community – individuals, businesses, and organizations – can donate online at the Great Give website at www.greatgiveaac.org to charities of their choice.
More than 120 nonprofits are participating. The goal is to raise a total of $500,000, which would represent roughly $1 for each county resident.
CFAAC Executive Director Bess Langbein, her staff and board members, intending to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the county’s nonprofit organizations, began planning the Great Give in July 2012.
“We’d heard about these 24-hour online giving days taking place around the country and decided hosting one here in our county would be a fun and unique way to inspire local charitable giving,” said Langbein. “We knew it was going to take a lot of manpower and that volunteers would be the key element.”
Members of CFAAC’s Board, CFAAC fund holders, a former county executive, local business owners and leaders, and members of the local media, serve as members of the Great Give planning committee.
“We had to get the right team in place to build this event from scratch and raise the necessary funds to make the Great Give a success for local nonprofits and donors,” Langbein said. “We set the bar high when we decided to provide a minimum of $80,000 in cash awards and cover the online transaction fee. It is important to us that 100% of every donation goes to the participating nonprofits.” The cash awards are intended to add an element of fun and excitement to the event for the nonprofits, and give each of them a tool to motivate current as well as potential new donors to donate to an organization during this particular 24-hour timeframe.
The Great Give cash awards program was designed to allow participating nonprofits to earn cash prizes ranging from $500 to $10,000 for certain Great Give accomplishments, such as raising the most money, having the most donors, having the largest single donation during a designated hour and more. For a complete list of the Great give Cash Awards, click here.
The first company to commit its financial support to the Great Give was Maryland Live! Casino, becoming the presenting sponsor with a $25,000 gift. Kathy Brooks, Great Give co-chair and sponsorship committee chair, said. “Quoting Maryland Live! Casino’s General Manager Rob Norton, for them, ‘it was a no-brainer.’ Where else does a company have the opportunity to help so many organizations and affect so many lives, with just one donation?”
Other companies, foundations and organizations echoed Maryland Live! Casino’s sentiments and financially supported the event. They include:
- M&T Bank
- Severn Savings Bank
- First National Bank
- Razoo Foundation
- Coldwell Banker
- Johns Hopkins Healthcare LLC
- Priority Partners MCO
- Capital Communications, LLC
- First Home Mortgage
- Norman G. Owens Foundation
- Towne Transport
- Bay Area Community Church
- Joann Strathmeyer & Norman Saunders
- Zachary’s Jewelers
- Papa John’s Pizza
- Smyth Jewelers
One local company, Alpha Engineering Associates, took its Great Give support a step further by providing both $5,000 in financial support and many hours of social media and online marketing assistance to the participating nonprofit organizations. “We provide IT services to small and medium companies in Anne Arundel County, and of course, many of our local nonprofits fall into those categories. When we discovered that the Great Give was happening, and it was an online event, we immediately wanted to be involved,” Dave Carter, Director of Sales at Alpha Engineering Associates, said.
Local media has played a big role, according to Amy Francis, CFAAC donor services coordinator and Great Give staff liaison. “‘It seemed like every print, radio, TV and online media source wanted to be part of the Great Give,” Francis said. “It has been an incredibly collaborative promotional effort on the part of our local media, and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
Standing out for their overwhelming commitment to the event are What’s Up? Annapolis Magazine, The Capital, The Maryland Gazette and WRNR radio. Other media partners include:
- Eye On Annapolis
- “All Annapolis” Facebook page
- Broadstripe, an Anne Arundel Broadband Company
- Chesapeake Family Magazine
- Chesapeake Inspired Ezine
- Several of the local Patch sites
“The Great Give is a substantial undertaking, with many moving parts. This first time effort will benefit over 120 local organizations. Even more challenging is the ‘newness’ of this web-based approach to fund-raising for both our donors and beneficiaries, yet the technology brings the Great Give into virtually every home in the county,” said Bobby Neall, Great Give co-chair.
Some of the other noteworthy examples of community giving related to the Great Give include:
- Donation of meeting space, equipment and manpower for the Great Give nonprofit training sessions by Severna Park Community Center and Anne Arundel Community College
- Website design, programming and maintenance services for the initial Great Give website from Dave Cyphers and his team at The Cyphers Agency
- Graphic design services from Gina Dwyer of Idea Box Creative
- Signage from FastSigns of Annapolis
- Printing services from High Starr Copy Services
- Videography services from Tara Reed of Moosey Productions
- Three remote radio broadcasts from WRNR and use of their space for these broadcasts by Greenberg Gibbons and Annapolis Towne Centre, Greene Turtle in Gambrills and Maryland Live! Casino
- Primo Pasta Kitchen in Pasadena for serving as a location for the public to make online donations with the help of Great Give volunteers on May 15 from 6 – 8 PM
- Photography services from Joe Bissett of Bissett Photographs
- Josh Davidsburg of iCandy Production for his video work before and during the event
“I can’t say thank you enough to all of the volunteers, donors and partners that are helping the Community Foundation create a ‘Give Local’ movement here in Anne Arundel County,” said Langbein.