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Community Foundation shares results of three-year Valley Gives pilot

Post date: 
April 6th, 2015
Article Type: 
AGM Member News
Article Topic: 

By all accounts Valley Gives was an overwhelming success. In total, Valley Gives Day events of 2012, 2013, and 2014 have helped 559 local nonprofits raise nearly $5.9 million from more than 24,400 generous donors, many of whom gave online for the first time.

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After we were done celebrating the results of the 2014 Valley Gives Day, the Community Foundation began evaluating results, nonprofit and donor surveys, and in-person listening sessions held immediately after Valley Gives 2013 and 2014.

Here are some highlights of what we learned:

  • In 2013, only 21% of the nonprofits participating in Valley Gives Day were all volunteer organizations (no paid staff). In 2014, this proportion doubled, to 42%, as did the proportion of nonprofits with annual budgets under $100,000, from 27% in 2013 to 41% in 2014. This means much of the growth in numbers of participating nonprofits since 2013 is due to small organizations with limited resources.
  • Over the past three years, Valley Gives had a major impact on nonprofits' use of social media, even in cases in which an organization already had a website and Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram pages. Nonprofits registered in 2014 who responded to the exit survey reported significant increases in website subscribers, Facebook "likes," and YouTube and Instagram followers. The number of website followers more than tripled, for example.
  • Over three years, 24,437 unique donors contributed to nonprofits in the Pioneer Valley through Valley Gives Day.  A total of 2,119 donors participated in all three years.
  • Each year, the amount of money raised during Valley Gives Day has increased substantially over the previous year's total. In 2014, Valley Gives raised a grand total of $2,676,595, which represents a 128% from 2012 to 2014.
  • While about four-fifths (83%) of 2014 Valley Gives donors have given online in the past, nearly one-fifth (17%) have never done so. This is roughly the same proportion as in 2012 when about 20% said Valley Gives was their first online experience. This year 5% of the donors reported that they have NEVER given to ANY nonprofit before giving on Valley Gives Day. Roughly 1,400 donors are new to giving because of this giving event.

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Helping nonprofits going forward

Valley Gives was designed to encourage generosity and build enhanced nonprofit capacity in the use of social media and fundraising. The Foundation is committed to continuing to support nonprofits in this way in the future. The Foundation will be hosting another Valley Gives Day in spring 2016. Prior to doing that, however, we will invite nonprofits to meet with us and help us learn more about the kinds of support Pioneer Valley nonprofits need and want most.

In addition to hosting Valley Gives Day in spring 2016, we will consider options to support nonprofits year-end 2015 fundraising efforts. This includes the possibility of providing some kind of support/assistance to help nonprofits that want to participate in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, which will be held this year on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.  The exact nature of help the Community Foundation might provide will be based on what we learn through a series of feedback opportunities and community conversations to be held in spring 2015.


Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
1500 Main Street, Suite 2300
Springfield, Massachusetts 01115

133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606 | Fax: 617.426.2849
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