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Bill Hanbury

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Terri Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Leslie Mansfield, CEO of Razoo.com and Bill Hanbury, President and CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area.
Greater Washington’s first online 24-hour fundraiser is just around the corner.
By Jane Hess Collins

Terri Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Leslie Mansfield, CEO of Razoo.com and Bill Hanbury, President and CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area.

It’s starting already. My Facebook page, Twitter feeds and email in-boxes are filling up with facts, countdowns and requests for Wednesday’s Give to the Max Day-and I can’t wait!

Over 1,000 local nonprofits, fundraisers, projects and teams will participate and compete in Wednesday’s 24-hour online donate-a-thon, starting at 00:00:59 on November 9 and ending at the last second-literally-on Wednesday evening at 11:59:59.

An initiative of the Community Foundation of the National Capitol Region (CFNCR), United Way of the National Capitol Region (UWNCR) and the nonprofit fund-raising website Razoo.com, Give to the Max Day hopes to raise millions of dollars for the area’s charities.

The CFNCR and the UWNCR are part of 8 Neighbors, a coalition of eight organizations representing the nonprofit, philanthropic, government and business sectors in the Greater Washington Region. The other six Neighbors supporting Give to the Max Day are the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Leadership Greater Washington, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. The Case Foundation is the Social Impact Partner of the event.

The Joy of Motion Dance Center is one of over 1,000 nonprofits participating in Give to the Max Day. (Photo by Leigh Vogel.)

Giving is too easy to resist. Click here and search for a nonprofit, fundraiser, project or team by name, zip code or keyword. Click “donate” then follow the prompts.

Done.

Now here’s the fun part. Each of the 1,000+ participating organizations is competing for $140,000 in awards. While some awards are just plain big, others are smaller but much more creative.

For example: The nonprofit that raises the most money in this 24-hour window gets an extra $25,000. The nonprofit that comes in 44th place for pulling in the most unique donors gets the $2500 Obama Award (our 44th president-get it?).

While Give to the Max Day is greater Washington’s first stab at a 24-hour online fundraiser, it’s not the first time it has been done, and done successfully, in the area. The city of Alexandria partnered with Razoo.com last May for their Spring 2 Action event with 47 nonprofits, surpassing its $100,000 goal by reaching just over $104,000 in 24 hours through online donations and matching grants.

Imagine what will happen when all of greater DC is unleashed on Wednesday. There are all kinds of (cash) reasons for nonprofits to take over the social media airwaves on Wednesday.

Six of the 45 bloggers who have been promoting Give to the Max Day: Shireen Mitchell, Jen Consalvo, Jill Foster, Shana Glickfield, Maddie Grant, Liz Scherer.

Having been part of Spring2Action, I’m going to predict:

1.  Nonprofits will rule cyberspace on Wednesday. Facebook pages will fill up with posts from the nonprofits you follow, who will whoop it up with every donation and encourage their followers to give just a little more.

2. A few foundations and individual donors will randomly declare matching grants throughout the day, driving its own giving frenzy (this is where it really gets fun)!

3. Twitter will catapult into overdrive and thumbs will fall off at the joint as it gets closer to midnight or a nonprofit gets closer to a cash prize.

It’s hard not to get sucked into the excitement and drama, and when one of the nonprofits you support and love needs just $10 to pull into first place, even temporarily, it’s almost impossible not to click their “donate” button.

I hope each of you is part of the fun on Wednesday and I hope you get caught up in the excitement. Most of all, I hope you click “donate” a time or two.

Who can resist a party?

Jane Hess Collins helps and encourages people to give back through her volunteering, writing, speaking, coaching and workshops. You can follow her other Get Out and Give Back volunteer stories on Facebook, Twitter and her website. If you’d like her to volunteer with your organization, contact her here.

Bill Hanbury

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