Pittsburgh's annual Day of Giving hopes to increase impact

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During the 2013 Day of Giving on Thursday, the sponsors hope a pool of $845,000 in matching funds will be spread more equitably among a greater number of nonprofits than in past events.

While donors participating in the 24-hour, online giving event could previously expect a portion of the total match pool to be applied to individual gifts of up to $10,000, this year only the first $1,000 of each donation is eligible for a match, said a spokesman for the Pittsburgh Foundation, primary sponsor of the Day of Giving.

"This year we've kind of gone back to the original spirit of the program to encourage new donors and individual, relapsed donors," said Christopher Whitlatch, manager of marketing and communications for the foundation.

Last year, more than $8.5 million was raised for nonprofits in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties by donors who used the PittsburghGives website to make contributions.

This year's match pool includes $750,000 to be distributed among nonprofits in Allegheny County and $95,000 for nonprofits in Westmoreland County. The Allegheny County match pool is being provided by the Pittsburgh Foundation, the Jack G. Buncher Charitable Fund, the Colcom Foundation, the Donald & Sylvia Robinson Family Foundation and the Robert Waters Fund.

In Westmoreland, matching funds include monies from the Glasser Family Foundation, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Hefren-Tillotson, S&T Bank and Trust, Service Wealth Management, and individual donors.

The matching funds will be divided among all nonprofits that generate donations during the Day of Giving, which runs from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

All donations must be made by credit card to nonprofits registered at www.pittsburghgives.org. Approximately 720 organizations are registered and profiled on the website, compared with about 700 last year, Mr. Whitlatch said.

The minimum contribution is $25 and donors must use Visa or MasterCard. A 2.9 percent transaction fee will go to the credit card companies.

Since Day of Giving was launched in 2009, the event has generated $21 million for nonprofits in the region.

In addition to a recent stream of emails and other communications to alert potential donors about the opportunity to contribute, some nonprofits are holding public events during the Day of Giving and will have laptop computers on site for donors.

For instance, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council and Pittsburgh Opera will all have booths from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the weekly farmers' market in Market Square. From 11 am. to 1 p.m., the Sprout Fund will be at Conflict Kitchen in Schenley Plaza, Oakland, where it will distribute free desserts to donors.


Joyce Gannon: jgannon@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1580.


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