It’s better to give than to receive. Centre County residents proved that old saying when they opened their wallets for the annual Centre Gives campaign.
Centre Gives is a 36-hour giving challenge conducted by the Centre Foundation, prompting participating nonprofits to rally supporters to maximize donations while competing for a share of a $200,000 stretch pool and other prizes and awards.
The campaign kicked off at 8 a.m. Tuesday. It ended at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The final tally was $1.4 million. Half a million of that was raised in less than 12 hours on the first day.
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“We live in such a tremendously generous community,” said Molly Kunkel, Executive Director of Centre Foundation. “Each year, the response is absolutely amazing. Since Centre Gives began in 2012, we’ve broken records every year — in participating organizations, in gifts, and in dollars raised.”
In addition to the $100,000 stretch pool put up by the Centre Foundation, the Hamer Foundation added $100,000, doubling the impact gifts will have on organizations receiving donations.
“Donors are savvy and they know that their gifts go further during Centre Gives because of the stretch pool and prizes,” Kunkel said in a statement.
The event also saw nonprofits like Schlow Centre Region Library, TriYoga, Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Grace Prep High School, Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, ClearWater Conservancy and Penns Valley Youth Center received additional incentive prizes.
“The ‘power hour’ prizes are awarded based on number of unique donors, not total amount raised,” said Kunkel. “This helps level the playing field. Each ‘power hour’ comes with a pair of prizes, one for a larger organization and one for a smaller organization.”
According to the Centre Foundation, more than $5.4 million has gone into local nonprofits since the first Centre Gives event in 2012.
In 2016, the total was $1.06 million, with an additional stretch pool of $100,000, despite the unexpected challenge of a software glitch that affected similar giving events all over the country. The Kimbia CEO ended up surrendering three months of his salary as a mea culpa.
Centre Foundation did not use Kimbia for the 2017 Centre Gives campaign.