Idaho Gives 2017 exceeded its goal of raising $1.2 million for nonprofit organizations on Thursday.
The final total was $1,371,761 on the books for 628 organizations with 10,559 people or groups making donations.
Some of this year’s donations reflected the country’s current political climate, as Planned Parenthood received more money than any other organization, bringing in nearly $39,000 from nearly 500 donors. The donations went to the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands.
The Peregrine Fund for the World Center for Birds of Prey brought in more than $38,000 as well, and the Idaho Humane Society was No. 3 in donations, with $26,367 as of 11:10 p.m. The Humane Society had 547 individual donors, the most of any organization.
“We’re killing it everywhere. Donations are coming in from all parts of the state,” said Amy Little, director of the Idaho Nonprofit Center. The group organizes the 24-hour day of online giving each year.
The Idaho Foodbank had received nearly $24,000 with about 40 minutes left in the day of giving, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise had a little over $18,000.
Rounding out the top 10 recipients were the Idaho Conservation League, Friends of Zoo Boise, Boise Bicycle Project, Sage International School of Boise, and The Redside Foundation, which helps Idaho’s professional guides.
Little attributed some of the success for the day of giving on improvements to the program. They include working with a new online giving platform, GiveGab.
Razoo, the former platform, took close to 9 percent of each donation in fees. GiveGab will take 6.7 percent plus $.30 per credit card transaction. Donors have the option to cover these fees when they donate.
About 70 percent of donors were using the option to cover those fees, said Little in the early afternoon. That’s an improvement over the 28 percent of donors who covered the fees in 2016.
Nonprofit groups participating in Idaho Gives will also receive their donations within three business days, deposited directly in their bank accounts. Razoo, said Little, held donations for six to eight weeks. Little calculated that Razoo collected $30,000 in interest from Idaho donations in 2016. There were also snags with the online platform in 2016, said Little. She estimates a loss of $20,000 in donations that didn’t go through because of technical difficulties on the Razoo site.
In addition to donations, participating nonprofits are able to “compete” with other nonprofits for additional cash prizes throughout the day, thanks to the support of sponsors.
Nonprofits are divided into one of three groups based on their operating expenses. Prizes are given based on the number of unique donors to a nonprofit, not dollar amounts.
In 2017, the Idaho Nonprofit Center also offered free registration (a $50 savings) for its members.
Despite the improvements, there are still groups that chose not to participate in the event because of costs. Peg Richards, director of The Good Samaritan Home, a residence that provides affordable housing for low-income adults, sent an email to the Idaho Statesman on Wednesday saying that the organization would not participate this year because of low donations in 2016.
“We’ve realized through the years that Idaho Gives isn’t the best fundraiser for everyone. It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” said Little. Groups, she added, have to work to get their message out, even with support from the center.
“It’s a little like a gym membership. Just signing up won’t get you results,” she said.
Check the latest totals and make donations online at idahogives.org.