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North Texas Giving Day shatters previous record: Collin County nonprofits receive $1.1 million in donations
Several records were broken Thursday during the fourth North Texas Giving Day, sponsored by the Communities Foundation of Texas.
The annual event allows residents to donate to nonprofits throughout the Metroplex, ranging from large schools to small food pantries. More than 900 nonprofits combined to receive $14.4 million on Thursday, a 35 percent increase from last year, when $10.7 million was raised.
"Yesterday really blew us out of the water since it was the biggest giving day we have ever experienced," said Brent Christopher, the foundation's president and CEO. "To our knowledge, it is the biggest [single] giving day anywhere in the country."
While the goal of the day is to solicit donations for nonprofits, Christopher said it is also about informing people of the work nonprofits do in the community.
"This is one day out of the year that we highlight the work of all nonprofits across North Texas," Christopher said. "We encourage people to find the organization that is doing good work in an area of interest to them and to make a gift to support that organization. It is an awareness-building opportunity to help people understand how critical nonprofits are in North Texas."
North Texas Giving Day raised $4 million in its first year, a number that increased to $5 million in year two and then $10.7 million last year. In addition to the increase in total donations from last year to this year, the number of donors also increased by 180 percent in the same time span, Christopher said.
Collin County nonprofits received $1.1 million on Thursday, with John Paul II High School receiving $205,980 from 940 individual gifts.
"This was our first time to participate," said Thomas Poore, president of John Paul II. "The money will go toward our annual fund which helps make up the difference between the tuition and what it actually costs to educate a child. ... There was so much excitement during the day as people were watching the numbers change"
Even though the school had not participated in the Day of Giving in previous years, Poore said he was proud of how philanthropic the community was. He credited the work of the school's advancement office for getting the word out about the opportunity to give.
One of the 89 Collin County nonprofits to receive funds was the Plano Symphony Orchestra, which routinely performs shows in Plano, Frisco and Richardson. The symphony received $38,000, according to Nancy Baumgarten, the symphony's community relations director.
"We have a distributed revenue stream that includes individual donors, ticket sales, grants and corporate sponsorships," she said. "A project like North Texas Giving Day allows us to get put money into the general operating fund since many of the bigger donations we receive are ear-marked for specific projects."
One of the areas in which the money will be used is to shore up the children's education program, which has taken a hit over the last few years as school districts have been forced to make across-the-board budget cuts.
"We put on the education program in a lot of the suburbs in Collin County," she said. "We go into the schools and provide curriculum and provide a musician that does a program with the students. We try to go to every fourth- and fifth-grade classroom in the district. The program culminates with a symphony performance for the students."
For a list of all nonprofits that received donations, visit northtexasgiving.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html.
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