Denton County charities, many of them small and with limited staff, raised $646,799 for themselves during the North Texas Day of Giving on Sept. 19.
This was the fifth year that Communities Foundation of Texas organized the event, which brought in a record-breaking $25.2 million for North Texas nonprofits.
North Texans donated $10.8 million more than last year, and far more than the $16.3 million raised in Minnesota during that state’s giving day program — the most ever raised during a giving day, according to Carol Goglia, the foundation’s director of marketing and communication.
Giving days have become increasingly popular as groups in cities, regions and even entire states organize campaigns to encourage people to make donations online one day each year.
North Texas Giving Day started in 2009, a “horrible time” for the economy, Goglia said.
But the event focuses on smaller gifts and helping charities that don’t have the resources to run big fundraising campaigns on their own — and people still want to give, even when times are bad, Goglia said.
A 2012 study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “How America Gives,” ranked Dallas ninth most generous of the nation’s 50 largest cities, the highest ranking for any Texas city.
“Overall, how many continue to come out and support this, the generosity of North Texans is amazing,” Goglia said.
The foundation contributes to the pot at the end of the day, dividing up what it has to give based on what the charities pulled in. This year, the charities will receive about a 6.4 percent bonus on their donations, courtesy of the foundation, Goglia said.
Special Abilities of North Texas brought in $109,400 from 10 donors, the most of any Denton County charity. That bonus means another $7,000 or so from the foundation. Located in Lewisville, Special Abilities of North Texas provides care, training and support for adults with special needs, including day care for those with Alzheimer’s.
The Denton Animal Shelter Foundation brought in $60,883 from 226 donors, the most donors of any Denton County charity.
One of the goals of giving day is to help charities make connections to new donors, Goglia said.
Some charities received prizes from other participating foundations for such achievements as most donors and most new donors, with categories for new participants.
The Denton Bach Society was one of the new participants this year and managed to snare the most donations of any Denton County arts group that participated. Fifty-one donors gave $5,135.
Denton resident Heidi Klein, a vocalist with the group, helped promote their participation in giving day through the group’s membership materials and on her own Facebook page.
While many of the donations came from current Bach Society members, they also received donations from new donors, including some who made plans to help out on giving day.
“Somehow, it’s more exciting when you know your dollars mean a little more,” Klein said.
The money gives the Denton Bach Society a head start on what they need to launch a performance of the St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach in its 2014-15 season, according to fellow society member Andrew Justice, who also helped with the campaign.
Their production of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio last year cost about $17,000, Justice said. The group must rent the performance hall and the music, as well as pay the musicians.
“Ticket prices don’t cover it,” Justice said.
The next North Texas Giving Day has already been scheduled, Goglia said, for Sept. 18, 2014.
For more information, visit www.donorbridgetx.org.
PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.
DENTON COUNTY LEADER BOARD
More than 80 Denton County nonprofits participated in the fifth annual North Texas Day of Giving on Sept. 19, and 77 of them received donations of at least $25 or more, raising $646,799 in just one day. Below is a list of 16 Denton County nonprofits that were able to raise more than $10,000 during the drive.
Number of donors
Special Abilities of North Texas
Metroport Meals on Wheels
Denton Animal Shelter Foundation
Good Samaritan Society - Denton Village
University of North Texas Foundation
Christian Community Action
Our Daily Bread
Gospel for Asia
Texas State Historical Association
Immaculate Conception Catholic School
Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home
Communities in Schools of North Texas
Biz Owners Ed