On Mar. 22 a group of local non-profits will be teaming up to participate in the ‘Love Utah Give Utah’ fundraising campaign. Eleven Moab-area non-profits will host an all day event in the Walker Drug parking lot at 300 S. Main Street during this 24-hour statewide, online donation drive. There will be food and live entertainment all day at the event.
The Community Foundation of Utah, a Salt Lake City based non-profit, is coordinating the statewide advertising and online giving aspects of the drive.
“This is the first time all of Utah is doing this. It’s the first time for Moab,” said Sara Hinck, a Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) volunteer at the Moab BEACON Afterschool Program.
Statewide fundraising drives that bring together a wide range of non-profits for a one-day event have been growing in popularity all across the country. The most successful of these drives was in Minnesota, where $16 million was raised in 24-hours, said Fraser Nelson, the executive director of the Community Foundation of Utah.
The Community Foundation of Utah has enlisted over 400 causes across the state for the ‘Love Utah Give Utah’ campaign.
Events similar to Moab’s will be happening on Mar. 22 across Utah. St. George and Ogden non-profits are both organizing festivals and events, and Uinta County has about 10 organizations that are working together to fund raise for ‘Love Utah Give Utah,’ Nelson said.
“Moab is one of the most creative communities. They are the only folks to come up with a 24-hour sleepover. Every community in Utah is branding this event to match the unique character of their hometown,” Nelson said.
Though this is the first statewide drive in Utah, the Park City Foundation has held two similar events in recent years for charities in Park City.
“Park City raised around half a million dollars within 24 hours,” said Stephanie Dahlstrom, the director of Moab’s BEACON Afterschool Program and one of the organizers of Moab’s Mar. 22 event.
The success of these drives inspired Fraser and her team to adopt the event and take it to the state level here in Utah.
As part of the effort to involve as many organizations as possible, Nelson came to Moab and gave a presentation at a meeting of local non-profits at WabiSabi last November. The idea of uniting with other charitable organizations and using their pooled resources to reach possible donors at a state level was very appealing, said Allyson O’Connor, the development director for the Moab Free Health Clinic.
Moab’s BEACON Afterschool Program, Canyonlands Field Institute, Club Red: Moab’s Teen Center, Community Rebuilds, Grand Area Mentoring, Moab Folk Festival, Moab Free Health Clinic, Moab Pride, Moab Valley Multicultural Center, Seekhaven and the Moab Music Festival all came together and started planning the event.
With the momentum started, The Community Foundation of Utah stepped back to a supporting role, helping to organize the website, outreach and advertising at the state level.
“We are just the catalyst for this type of philanthropy,” Nelson said. “What’s going on in Moab is what we wanted to have happen, (it’s) much more organic.”
The advantage of organizations coming together for fundraising is two-fold; first, the pooled resources of all the organizations allow them to plan and advertise for the event at a scale that no single organization could manage; second, working together on this project has helped engender a sense of camaraderie among Moab’s non-profits, said Daniel McNeil, the program director for Grand Area Mentoring.
“We’re not competing with each other as much as supporting one another,” he said.
The Mar. 22 event will begin at midnight. An urban camp-out will be held through the night in the offices of Moab Air Adventures, located in the basement of the building that houses the Verizon store in the Walker Drug parking lot. Classic ‘80s movies will be shown, and popcorn and s’mores will be available for anyone who wants to stop by and make a donation. Workers from each organization will be there, planning the event and promoting it online.
There will be a pancake breakfast between 7 to 9 a.m. in the parking lot. Diller Dogs and Quesadilla Mobilla will sell lunch between noon and 2 p.m. Ten percent of each sale at Quesadilla Mobilla will be donated to the non-profits.
The Native American Club will provide dinner from 5 to 7 p.m.
Throughout the day there will be music and live entertainment, including the drum playing Taiko Kids as well as the Moab Roller Derby. In the evening there will be music performances from Stonefed’s Jon Olschewsky as a well as a performance by the fire dancers.
All 11 organizations will also have information booths and be accepting donations.
‘Love Utah Give Utah’ is primarily an online giving event. Donors from across the state, country and world can use the website to search for specific types of charities in specific areas.
When an online donation is made it will be taken and processed by Razoo, a non-profit that specializes in online fundraising. The donor will immediately be sent a receipt for their donation and a ‘thank you’ email from the organization they chose to support. The email addresses of the donors will also be collected and given to the charity that they donated to. In this way non-profits will be able to capture information about new donors, Nelson said.
In order to cover its processing costs Razoo will take 2.9 percent of each donation. The Community Foundation of Utah will take 2.1 percent. The Community Foundation of Utah’s cut will go towards repaying the $65,000 to $75,000 the organization spent to organize and advertise the event, Nelson said.
But because a percent is taken out of all donations made online, Moab’s non-profits recommend locals come enjoy the event and donate there. That way 100 percent of their donations will go to their chosen organization, O’Connor said.
The Community Foundation of Utah has enlisted over 400 causes for the ‘Love Utah Give Utah’ campaign. The organization also hopes that setting up grants for accomplishments like the largest number of donors (regardless of total dollar value) will help to level the playing field for the participating non-profits. $200,000 in matching grants has also been made at the state-level by a number of corporations, including Maverik and Flying J.
As yet no matching grant has been made by a Grand County business, though any interested are encouraged to contact any one of the local ‘Love Utah Give Utah’ organizations, said Amy Stocks of Club Red: Moab’s Teen Center.
The hope is that this year’s event will raise each organizations visibility and enable the non-profits to tap into new local, statewide and national sources of funding. If things go well this year the non-profits hope to make ‘Love Utah Give Utah’ an annual event.
“We want this to become a huge fundraiser for Moab and for Utah in the coming years,” Hinck said.