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A Letter To Our Community
May 6, 2016
May 6, 2016
Dear Friends and Supporters,
First, we want to thank the entire community--especially the many nonprofits, donors, volunteers, sponsors and businesses that make Midlands Gives possible. In spite of technical issues, Midlands Gives 2016 received 12,536 gifts totaling $1.6 million for 382 local nonprofits, surpassing last year’s totals in dollars raised, numbers of donations and participating nonprofits.
In order to demonstrate our sincere commitment to you and the importance of your philanthropy, we want to explain what happened on Tuesday.
The Platform Provider’s Technical Failures
The national giving platform and host of Give Local America, KIMBIA, experienced severe technical issues with their website causing massive system slowdowns nationwide – grinding many giving days across the country to a halt. Kimbia worked to address the problem and eventually got the site operating normally but not before hampering participating nonprofits that rely on this day as an important source of unrestricted support. Kimbia assured us that although they encountered problems resulting from malfunctioning hardware and overwhelming transaction volume, at no time was the security of donor information compromised. In response to the criticism from community foundations across the country, Kimbia reduced the per transaction fee.
The Foundation’s Solution
Starting in the 11:00 a.m. hour on May 3, our team began receiving calls and emails from nonprofits and donors reporting problems with the Kimbia site. We immediately contacted Kimbia and remained in frequent contact while we waited for them to provide a solution. When it became clear that they had no viable solution to offer, Central Carolina Community Foundation’s team implemented our crisis plan, extending the giving deadline by 12 hours, to noon on May 4, and quickly building an alternate web page enabling donors to continue to give to their chosen charities. The Foundation’s Board also approved the addition of two $2,000 Power Hours in order to keep the giving momentum going on May 4th. Many generous donors elected to cover the Kimbia processing fee when they made their donation, other donors did not, so our board has also agreed to underwrite the remaining Kimbia processing fees, approximately $15,000, allowing every nonprofit to maximize their donations.
Now for the Good News
Our entire region rallied behind Midlands Gives 2016!
Our event hosts, The Columbia Fireflies at Spirit Communications Park, provided a spectacular venue at no charge. They were with us the entire day starting at 4 a.m., when stadium lights were on for the early morning TV broadcasts, to midday when the mayors arrived at the park for their pitching contest and Governor Haley stopped by to promote philanthropy. And, they were with us late into the night as Heart & Soul Band played their last tune and packed up their instruments for their next gig.
Our fourteen Corporate Philanthropy Champions that underwrote all of our giving incentives were amazing! They lent their support throughout the day and, when we were faced with technical difficulties, they publicly shared their confidence that the show would go on. The prizes provided by our Champions have been awarded and an official list can be found on the Foundation’s website www.yourfoundation.org.
Our television, radio, print and billboard partners were exceptional! Beginning weeks before the event, and throughout the 36 hours of giving, they encouraged their audiences to donate by sharing stories of how nonprofits make our community a better place to live, work and play.
Thank you! The donations you made through Midlands Gives 2016 are already hard at work—books are being delivered to children through literacy programs; bus passes are being given to hard working people in need of transportation to and from work; service dogs will be trained to aid a returning soldier or person with special needs; free tickets will be offered to individuals who have never seen a live performance. All because of you.
Finally, some might say, “Our philanthropy broke the internet!” We prefer to say we are #SCStrong. Our nonprofits showed just how resilient they are and you, their donors, rallied behind them. We are grateful to live in a region where people genuinely care and, like you, give back to make the community we call home stronger—A Connected Community.
JoAnn M. Turnquist
President & CEO