If you were out and about last week or even shopping online, it is likely you saw (and hopefully donated to) the many local charities that participated with The Community Foundation of Utah in the one-day virtual fundraising event, Love UT Give UT.
"We are always looking for new ways to aid local nonprofit organizations in their philanthropic endeavors," says Fraser Nelson, executive director of the foundation. "We had heard of other cities and states that tried similar campaign tactics to stimulate philanthropy, and we decided to give it a try."
The local YWCA was just one of many charities that decided to try this first-time fundraising opportunity. "We had a really fun time getting ready for this event," says Mike Varanakis, marketing and communications manager for YWCA Salt Lake, "The engagement from the community and success was really rewarding for us, and we are looking forward to participating again."
According to the Love UT Give UT website, over $600,000 was donated to multiple charities throughout Utah, including schools and universities.
"We are really impressed with the generosity of all our donors," says Nelson. "The response from the community members is really inspiring, and I'd just like to note that the exact numbers aren't solid, yet. We are in the process of receiving matched donations from companies who offered that as an incentive to their employees. Today, I know that the donations have passed $800,000."
Awards were given to the top three organizations to raise the most money in each nonprofit category. First prize was $5,000, second prize was $2,500 and third prize was $1,000.
Here are the top three in each category:
Small nonprofits (budgets under $250,000):
1. Friends for Animal Care and Effective Solutions
2. Noble Horse Sanctuary
3. Plan-B Theater Company
Medium nonprofits (budgets between $250,000 and 1 million):
1. Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah
2. Sharing Place, Inc.
3. Wasatch Community Gardens
Large nonprofits (budgets over $1 million):
1. Girl Scouts of Utah
2. Turn Community Services
3. Utah Pride Center
Educational institutions (all schools, school foundations, colleges and universities):
1. Westminster College
2. Weber School District Foundation
3. Salt Lake Arts Academy
If you didn't get an opportunity to participate, there are plans to schedule another Love UT Give UT in the future, though a specific date has not been determined. You can find more information about nonprofits in Utah, and donation opportunities by clicking here.