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Investing for Impact: Midlands Gives Increases Local Nonprofit Capacity

For eight years, Midlands Gives has served as a celebration of everyday philanthropy while increasing the capacity of local nonprofit organizations.

With registration for the ninth annual Midlands Gives now open until January 7, 2022, we spoke with a few Midlands Gives nonprofit organizations to learn more about their experiences.

In 2021, 479 organizations participated in Midlands Gives Day. One organization, Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center, provides a variety of services for the community, including mentoring to youth and senior citizens.

“Midlands Gives was great marketing for us, and it creates brand awareness. We were able to get our name out there in the community, and I think people learned more about the Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center. As a result, people donated to us and so we saw an immediate impact,” said Cindye Richburg-Cotton, Executive Director of Brookland Lakeview Empowerment Center.

Funds raised by participating in Midlands Gives, help sustain several nonprofit programs. One benefit of Midlands Gives for nonprofits is that the funds raised are unrestricted and can be used by the nonprofits to meet their greatest needs.

“It’s been very impactful for us. We are super excited to be a part of Midlands Gives,” says Richburg-Cotton. “We are able to use those funds for operating costs and that is tremendous for us because that’s one of the areas where we really need the most money.”

In addition to the annual giving day event, the initiative also serves as a year-round online giving platform. Nonprofits can foster a cost-effective outreach campaign through features including:

  • Earlier access to videos, tools and resources to help prepare for giving day.
  • Access to training to help improve and build the skills and knowledge to set organizations up for future success, including fundraising, donor relations and storytelling.
  • Campaigns around key fundraising opportunities throughout the year, including Black Philanthropy Month and Give 8/28 in August as well as GivingTuesday.

Donors can give through the Midlands Gives website at any time throughout the year by way of a one–time or recurring gift. The platform provides a secure, simple and accessible place for donors to learn about local nonprofits and explore opportunities for philanthropic giving.

The Hive Community Circle has participated in Midlands Gives for many years. The Hive is a survivor-led organization that works to support survivors, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) identifying women, in cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking.

Chío Núñez, The Hive’s Constituency Engagement Manager, says participation in Midlands Gives has been beneficial for the organization.

“It has definitely been pivotal for The Hive in terms of not just the fundraising but also the networking,” says Núñez. “We attend the webinars, and we use the toolkits and all these things that Midlands Gives provides to nonprofits. It goes beyond just the fundraising itself and it’s always also a beautiful thing to come together as nonprofits and make it a day of giving.”

As a member of the BIPOC community herself, Núñez emphasized the importance of BIPOC representation in initiatives like Midlands Gives.

“The Midlands Gives platform is very intentional about including organizations, small, medium and large, that are led by or serve in the BIPOC community,” Núñez says.

Nonprofit registration is now open for the ninth annual Midlands Gives Day, which will take place on Tuesday, May 3, 2022.

Nonprofit organizations of any size can participate in Midlands Gives. Registration requirements include:

  • Being 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization in good standing with the IRS and in compliance with the registration requirement of the South Carolina Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.
  • Nonprofit headquartered or have a branch in one of the following South Carolina counties: Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda or Sumter.
  • Have at least 1 full year of financial history as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization by March 31, 2022.
  • Agree to the Midlands Gives Participation Agreement, including the $10 technology administration fee.

Registration is open through January 7, 2022, but nonprofits that register before November 16, 2021, will be part of the Early Bird Club and be eligible for additional incentives, including:

  • Priority consideration for interviews to raise awareness for the nonprofit.
  • Being able to participate in additional live training opportunities unlocked with nonprofit professionals to further support fundraising efforts and donor engagement.
  • Being listed on MidlandsGives.org in time for GivingTuesday, a global day of generosity, on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
  • Eligibility to participate in a special 12 Days of Giving matching incentive opportunity.

Nonprofits can register and learn more here.

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