Charleston-area nonprofits look to raise funds during annual #GivingTuesday effort

November 28, 2017

Groups from around the Lowcountry that rely on donations are gearing up for the annual #GivingTuesday philanthropic push.

So are a pair of executives from Blackbaud Inc., who will ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq stock exchange to help kick off the 2017 campaign.

The ceremony takes place at 9:30 a.m. in New York City. Catherine LaCour, senior vice president of global marketing at the Daniel Island-based technology company, and Rachel Hutchisson, vice president of corporate citizenship and philanthropy, will open the Nov. 28 trading session with representatives from the American Red Cross and other charities that have responded to various disasters this year.

Blackbaud’s stock has been listed on the Nasdaq since 2004.

The company also is a founding partner of #GivingTuesday, which is described as “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration” that coincides with the start of the year-end charitable season. It encourages participants to donate their time, money or “the power of your voice in your local community.”

Blackbaud, which sells software and services designed for nonprofit organizations, has analyzed #GivingTuesday online trends and data since it was first organized five years ago by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. The Charleston company said it expects the 2017 effort “to break online giving records again.”

Last year, Blackbaud reported a 20 percent surge in #GivingTuesday gifts compared to 2015. Donations from U.S. givers totaled nearly $48 million.

Among the many local organizations hoping to benefit this year are the Center for Birds of Prey's Avian Conservation Center in Awendaw. Its goal is to raise $8,000 by the end of the day, or a dollar for each injured bird the nonprofit has treated over the past 26 years.  

"We are asking you to join together with our growing conservation community on #GivingTuesday ... to provide important funds that will allow us to continue this meaningful work," the center said in an email blast to supporters Monday.

Similarly, Charleston Promise Neighborhood said it is seeking donations to support KidsWell, a health-care access project aimed at helping young students and their families.

"More than 1,000 children have benefited from the program since 2012 and enrollment continues to grow," board chair Ted Legasey said in an email.  "Your gift ... will help offer KidsWell to all the families that choose it."