By: Monique Dennis Illustration by: Tyler Schultz
In November 2009, nine area foundations initiated the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, a matching gift program in response to the need for food and shelter in the area. Administered by the Coastal Bend Community Foundation (CBCF), it is an online community-wide event to show off the Coastal Bend’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local non-profits, and celebrate the collective effort it takes to make our area great. This community give-together begins at midnight every year on Nov. 9, and with a minimum donation of only $10, it allows locals and additional funders to be philanthropists in the Coastal Bend.
Following the economic downturn between 2007 and 2009, the Coastal Bend Community Foundation board of directors wanted to do something to help local nonprofits. They decided to come together with eight additional funders and were able to pledge a total amount of $150,000 in matching funds for local nonprofits. That first year alone, $400,000 was raised through online giving, and was distributed to 25 participating organizations.
Each year since, they’ve been able to hold a successful Day of Giving, continually surpassing the amount raised the previous year. The CBCF continues to reach milestones time and time again. After 12 successful years of giving to the community, Tracy Ramirez, communications op-erations director, can happily say the Day of Giving event has raised over $26 million for local nonprofit organizations.
Ramirez said the millions of dollars that have been raised have allowed for these nonprofits to improve the lives of others. The Coastal Bend Day of Giving services nonprofits that meet four core criteria of providing medical care, shelter, food, and childcare in the community. This year, a total of 56 nonprofit organizations are participating, and 27 fund donors will be matching each nonprofit that meets or exceeds the amount of $21,800.
As a 24-hour, online matching gift event, it is astounding to see the amount of donations they have been able to receive and give back to the seven servicing counties. As CBCF embarks on the 13th year of the Coastal Bend Day of Giving, Ramirez said their hope is to always exceed what they raised the year before, and for the participating nonprofit organizations to all hit their match amounts of $21,800.
Coastal Bend Day of Giving provides locals a chance to give back to their community, even in the smallest of ways. “This event is so great because with a minimum donation of $10, everyone can be a philanthropist and give to their favorite charity,” Ramirez said. She also mentions the early giving period for those who are unable to give on Nov. 9: Early donations can be made Nov. 1-8, with all funds raised at that time dispersed right away.
Ramirez said they are hopeful of reaching new heights with the Coastal Bend Day of Giving this year, and look forward to continuously giving back to their community.