Pittsburgh Day of Giving's destiny being studied
The sponsor behind the Pittsburgh Day of Giving, the biggest one-day fundraiser in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, is pondering whether the event set for Thursday should continue beyond next year and, if it does, in what form.
“The nonprofit community in Pittsburgh has developed the capacity we were hoping it would,” said Grant Oliphant, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. “We have to evaluate whether the program is still necessary as presently constructed, given the tremendous progress that has been made in nonprofits and donors connecting in new ways.”
The Pittsburgh Foundation has sponsored the event since 2009. Donors gave $1.2 million to nonprofits in Allegheny County that first year with the promise of prorated matching funds. Last year, donors gave $8.5 million to groups in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
The foundation plans to provide $750,000 in matching funds to groups in Allegheny County and $100,000 to Westmoreland County, the same as last year. More than 700 nonprofits received gifts last year.
The foundation is adding a twist this year. It plans to match the first $1,000 of a gift, compared to the first $10,000 in previous years. Foundation officials hope the change will attract more donors whose contributions would be matched.
The buzz is mostly about the foundation's plans after next year's Day of Giving.
“There's a lot of mixed opinion about how and if this should go forward,” said Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, which represents arts groups that benefit from the day. “There are some larger organizations that are of the opinion that it confuses their regular fund-raising effort.”
Oliphant said he likes how the event has spurred nonprofit groups to use social media. Many groups email and post Twitter messages to remind donors about the event.
He said the foundation is considering three possibilities after 2014.
One would be to stop sponsoring the event. The second is to sponsor the event but not provide matching contributions, noting that some cities offer prizes for reaching milestones such as attracting the most donors or new donors.
A third option would be to have a pool of matching money from sources outside the foundation.
Suzanne Thinnes, spokeswoman for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, said the Day of Giving has cultivated a climate of philanthropy in Allegheny County. Last year, the library system raised $97,916 from the event. She declined to recommend what the foundation should do beyond 2014.
“We have a greater engagement through social media with our donors. It also has helped us build an awareness of library services to be supported,” she said.
Oliphant said the foundation will sponsor a Day of Giving for arts groups next year because of a special grant from The Heinz Endowments. A date hasn't been set.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitcairn police department to carry Narcan for heroin overdoses
- August Wilson Center event rentals thwarted by cooling system repairs
- Pittsburgh bishop throws cold water on ALS group, which uses embryonic stem cells
- Pittsburgh city vehicle repair delays elicit gripes about Cincinnati company
- 6 arrested after brief SWAT standoff in Fineview
- Allegheny County police balk at plan for rangers to patrol parks
- Inbound Liberty Tunnel will reopen for morning rush
- Law targeting sexual violence prompts campuses to review, publish policies
- Murals give youngsters chance to shine, memorialize Pittsburgh playwright
- Scientists hope tiny robotic bee’s big dreams take flight
- Pittsburgh Parking Authority break set for holiday motorists