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Midlands Gives Day Raises $1,543,023.65 for More Than 250 Local Nonprofit Organizations

The second annual Midlands Gives day, presented by the Central Carolina Community Foundation on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, raised a remarkable $1,543,023.65 for 251 local nonprofit organizations in the Foundation’s 11-county service area across the Midlands of South Carolina.

The second annual Midlands Gives day, presented by the Central Carolina Community Foundation on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, raised a remarkable $1,543,023.65 for 251 local nonprofit organizations in the Foundation’s 11-county service area across the Midlands of South Carolina.

Midlands Gives is a 24-hour local online giving challenge that brings the region together as one community to raise money and awareness for local nonprofits. This year’s success – over $1.5 million raised – will benefit organizations in 11 counties in the Midlands region of South Carolina – trumping last year’s inaugural Midlands Gives’ success of $704,932.23, raised through 5,186 individual gifts.

A total of 11,372 individual gifts were received during this year’s Midlands Gives, with all 251 organizations receiving donations. Donors became philanthropists for just $20, giving to the participating nonprofits safely and easily on

“We did it – together!” exclaims JoAnn Turnquist, President and CEO of Central Carolina Community Foundation. “As the voice of philanthropy in the Midlands of South Carolina, Central Carolina Community Foundation’s mission is to encourage local giving.  We want everyone to feel inspired to be a philanthropist, and yesterday, folks throughout our community were! Together, we raised over $1.5 million for the 251 participating nonprofit organizations.”

In addition to donor gifts, nonprofit organizations were awarded prizes and bonus pools of funds based on random drawings, interactive contests and support from the public throughout the day.

Live coverage by WIS News provided all-day updates from Midlands Gives headquarters at IT-oLogy in downtown Columbia, S.C., where crowds gathered throughout the day to cheer on their favorite participating charities. Reporters from WLTX News 19, ABC Columbia, WACH Fox, Free Times and The State were on site or in close touch with Foundation team members to provide their audiences with updates throughout the day as well. Live giving stations offered secondary locations for donors and nonprofits to rally, including Boyd Plaza at the Columbia Museum of Art, YMCA of Sumter and more.

“Although we were hopeful, we never assumed we would raise this much money.  We planned, prepared and trained but without the individual campaign efforts of each nonprofit, and the generosity of the donors who gave to those organizations, we would not have raised this amazing amount of money,” says Turnquist. “It truly did take a village!  Together we achieved something much greater than we could have on our own. Midlands Gives inspired!”

Sandhills School raised the most funds during Midlands Gives, with contributions totaling $56,721. PETSinc had the highest total number of individual donors, with 356 eligible gifts made to the organization during the 24-hour event.

Aflac sponsored an array of prizes:

The “Aflac Golden Egg Prize” of $3,000 was added to a randomly drawn donor’s gift during a surprise power hour, benefitting Reach Out and Read Carolinas, a nonprofit based in Richland County.

The “Aflac C-Note Prize” provided a matching donation for gifts of exactly $100 made between 5:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m., until a $10,000 cap was reached. 742 $100 gifts were received in the fifteen-minute period, helping to reach the match cap quickly.

Six “Power Hours” awarded an additional $1,000 to the large nonprofit and small nonprofit with the highest number of individual donors in that hour. (Large/small nonprofit was determined by operating budget of above or below $750,000.)

Power Hour winners included the following:

  • 6 a.m. – 7 a.m.  Rise and Shine Power Hour: St. Lawrence Place and Historic Columbia
  • 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Coffee Break Power Hour: Columbia Opportunity Resource and Columbia College
  • 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch Special Power Hour: Jubilee Academy and PETSinc
  • 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Quitting Time Power Hour: Acts Metro and Harvest Hope Food Bank
  • 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. TV Dinner Power Hour: INNERSOLE and Sandhills School
  • 11 p.m. – Midnight Night Owl Power Hour: Carolina Wildlife Center and Pawmetto Lifeline

Central Carolina Community Foundation sponsored a variety of prizes as well.

The Foundation’s “First 100 Gifts Prize” of $500 was earned by PETSinc in Lexington County.

“County Prize” winners received an additional $500 for garnering the most unique donors throughout the day, including:

  • Calhoun County: Calhoun County First Steps
  • Clarendon County: JCMC-Haven of Rest
  • Fairfield County:  Friends of Mt. Zion Institute
  • Kershaw County: Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County
  • Lee County: Lee County First Steps
  • Lexington County: PETSinc
  • Newberry County: Newberry County Literacy
  • Orangeburg County: Healing Species
  • Richland County: Columbia College
  • Sumter County: Sumter County Museum

Bonus Pools, sponsored by the Community Foundation’s affiliate endowments, supported nonprofits in Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties (up to $7,500 from the Community Foundation for Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties), Chapin (up to $5,000 from the Greater Chapin Community Endowment) and Kershaw County (4 prizes from the Kershaw County Endowment).

An anonymous donor, dubbed the “Cheerful Giver” by the Foundation, generously matched $324,496 in donations to 215 eligible nonprofits in Richland and Lexington Counties throughout Midlands Gives. Many nonprofits also secured matches on their own from generous individuals and companies throughout the Midlands.

In April, Midlands Gives encouraged community members to share why they are philanthropists via the Palmetto Computer Consulting #IAmMidlandsGives video contest on social media. The nonprofits that benefitted from the contest were The Cooperative Ministry, USO South Carolina and Healing Icons, winning $750, $500 and $250, respectively.

Central Carolina Community Foundation thanks the following sponsors, media and community partners who helped make the second annual Midlands Gives day a huge success:

Supporting Sponsors: Aflac, Colonial Life, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Palmetto Computer Consulting

Community Bonus Pool Sponsors: Community Foundation for Orangeburg and Calhoun Counties, Greater Chapin Community Endowment and Kershaw County Endowment

Media Sponsors: WIS-TV, Free Times, The State Media Company, WLTX News 19, ABC Columbia, WACH Fox 57, WXRY radio, iHeartMedia, Inc., The Palm 92.1, Alpha Media, Grace Outdoor, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Columbia Business Monthly, MidlandsBiz, Millennium Magazine, Columbia Regional Business Report and The Sumter Item

Community Partners: Barbara Rackes, The Rackes Group; Ben Walker; Carolina Event Consultants; Charlie Nutt; Charlotte Berry; Chris Worley; Columbia Metropolitan Airport; Cyberwoven; Dawn Staley, Head USC Women’s Basketball Coach; Elizabeth Ingleheart; Flock and Rally; Greater Chapin Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center; Greater Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center; IT-oLogy; Jamesha Shackerford; Lanie Hudson, Miss South Carolina 2014; Lani Stringer, Mustard Graphics; Lenee Phillips; Mike Brenan, President of BB&T SC; Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center; Scott Adams; Scott McFarland; South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations; Suzanna Kutcher and YMCA of Sumter

Learn more about Midlands Gives and see how each nonprofit ranked on the Midlands Gives 2015 Leaderboard at

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