Natomas Nonprofits Raise Big Money

Stanford Settlement held a Cinco de Mayo party during Big Day of Giving 2015 at its senior center. / Courtesy Photo

Stanford Settlement held a Cinco de Mayo party during Big Day of Giving 2015 at its senior center.

BY ROBYN EIFERTSEN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Four Natomas-area nonprofits collectively raised more than $74,000 during yesterday’s Big Day of Giving.

By 11:59 p.m. Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center, The GreenHouse, Sacramento Valley Nature Conservancy and Natomas Arts and Education Foundation finished the 24-hour online fundraising marathon by receiving 507 gifts totaling $74,807.

The neighborhood nonprofits were among 529 Sacramento-region organizations which participated in Big Day of Giving 2015 and raised a whopping $5.6 million. The Big Day of Giving is in partnership with Give Local America, one day a year when communities across the country come together to give locally.

The Internet-driven campaign began at 12 a.m. Tuesday, May 5 and ended at 11:59 p.m.

At last count, the Stanford Settlement Neighborhood Center had raised $23,648 – shy of their $25,000 online fundraising goal.

“I have been watching the computer and biting my nails,” said Julie Rhoten, the center’s group work coordinator.

The center received more than double the amount of donations compared to last year’s final total of $10,800. A mail-in fund drive in the days leading up to Big Day of Giving 2015 netted raised an additional $6,695 in donations.

With the additional funds Rhoten said Stanford Settlement will be able to continue to provide its programs to area youth and seniors such as provide Summer Day Camp with affordable sliding scale fees for parents and provide Teen Center activities all summer long.

Stanford Settlement will also receive an additional $1,000 prize from the Big Day of Giving sponsors for the most money raised between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

By the end of the evening The GreenHouse, which serves underprivileged youth in the Gardenland-Northgate neighborhood, raised $27,895 from 100 contributors – far surpassing a $20,000 fundraising goal for the drive. The amount raised is also being matched by a $15,000 gift from the Ken and Lynn Hall Family Trust, according to executive director Brian Heller de Leon.

He was awestruck at the fundraiser’s turnout.

“We’ve blown through our goal which is exciting,” said Heller de Leon. “We are a little nonprofit, hidden in the corner of Gardenland-Northgate. This is amazing.”

Heller de Leon said the group used social media and encouraged stakeholders like parents, board members, volunteers and recent graduates to reach out to others for donations.

The Sacramento Valley Nature Conservancy, which owns Camp Pollock in south Natomas, also exceeded a fundraising goal of $10,000 by raising $13,065 from 121 gifts.

Kelly Hopkins, spokesperson for the Sacramento Valley Nature Conservancy said the group was thrilled with the day’s results.

“We’re feeling pretty good because we definitely don’t have the reach that some of these other, large organizations have,” she said.

Hopkins said the donations will help the group protect open space and preserve habitat while providing community recreation opportunities.

Natomas Arts and Education Foundation supporters were celebrating as well as they approached their $10,000 goal before midnight. The foundation is affiliated with Natomas Charter School.

At the end of the campaign, the foundation had raised $10,195 with 92 gifts, surpassing last year’s $4,500 total.

“We’ve had a lot of people donate to us and we really appreciate it,” said Jason Molay, student support and community outreach coordinator at Natomas Charter School. “We have quadrupled the amount of people who donated last year.”

Money from the event will go toward a range of building art awareness and art education, Molay said.

Big Day of Giving 2015 was organized and implemented by GiveLocalNow with local community foundations the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Placer Community Foundation and Yolo Community Foundation.

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