News and analysis
September 22, 2015

North Texas Giving Day Raises Record-Breaking $33.1 Million

Kim Leeson

This year's event brought in 118,000 donations for more than 2,000 charities and attracted $7 million more than last year in just 18 hours.

The seventh annual North Texas Giving Day Thursday broke all records for regional one-day fundraising sprints, organizers say.

The event raised $33.1 million for 2,022 local nonprofits, a nearly $7-million jump from last year, according to officials at the Communities Foundation of Texas, which organized the event. Donors had 18 hours — from 6 a.m. to midnight — to give.

Fueled by social media, email, and events throughout the day at five donation stations around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the giving day was designed to raise awareness of and funds for nonprofits across the North Texas area.

"The nonprofits were just so creative and energetic in the way they marketed the day," said Susan Swan Smith, chief relationship officer at the community foundation. "Couple that with a really generous community and a technology tool that made it really easy for people to give. It was in the best of all senses the perfect storm of things coming together to make for a really successful day."

About 25 percent more nonprofits participated this year than last.

A little more than one third of the more than 118,000 donations were from people giving for the first time to their chosen charity. Donations, which ranged from $1 to $100,000, came in from all 50 states, seven territories, and 28 countries. The average gift size was about $279, and donors gave to an average of 1.7 charities.

Donations of $25 and above received a 7.5-percent match from a $2.4-million pool of bonus and prize money, most of which was raised by the community foundation. Prize donations were awarded through random drawings as well as awards for groups that brought in the most new donors and those with the most spirited volunteers.

Public radio and TV stations KERA 90.1, KERA TV Channel 13, KXT 91.7, and Artandseek.org received the most donations — 2,674 — and had the most new donors. Through their programming that day, the stations helped drive other giving in the community, Ms. Smith said.

Cistercian Preparatory School, a Catholic school for boys in Irving, Tex, raised the most money — $486,575 — followed by the North Texas Food Bank and the Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command.

"The last two years, we’ve just reached a tipping point and had a critical mass," she said. "It’s become a communitywide effort."

Send an e-mail to Eden Stiffman.