‘Our Community Shines on Great Give Day’
Our annual day of giving returns this spring! On May 17, make your gift at GreatGiveDay.org to support participating nonprofits across the region.
24 hours, lasting impact
Above: Volunteers Paul and Martha Tabor sort food at St. Stephen’s, a Great Give Day participant.
River Bend Food Bank, St. Stephen’s Branch, is a lifeline for many people in Dubuque and Jackson counties. By distributing food to 100 partner pantries, it helps combat food insecurity and ensure people can meet their basic needs. To support this work, it takes part in the Community Foundation’s Great Give Day, the largest day of giving in Eastern Iowa. In 2022, St. Stephen’s raised $4,000 in just 24 hours to help stock their partner pantries.
St. Stephen’s is one of dozens of nonprofits that participate in Great Give Day each year. The 24-hour, online giving event is an opportunity for organizations to reach new supporters and compete for bonus prizes from local business sponsors that increase their total gifts.
“Our community shines on Great Give Day,” says Peter Supple, the Foundation’s director of nonprofit relations. “We appreciate everyone who contributes. Every gift makes a difference.”
Behind the final tallies are additional outcomes that build strong nonprofits. Many organizations start endowment funds with the Foundation so people can give to them on Great Give Day. These funds are invested, continue to grow, and pay out each year to sustain nonprofits’ work.
For donors, Great Give Day is an opportunity to simplify their giving and make their dollars go further. Dubuque residents Ernest and Peggy Jackson are among the thousands of people who give each year.
We really try to contribute to make our community better, and Great Give Day makes it a lot easier. When you see that something you’ve done has helped improve our community, it’s pretty powerful.
What is Great Give Day?
Great Give Day is a 24-hour, online giving event hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The goal is to inspire people to come together and give as much as possible to support local nonprofits.
Across the region, organizations find creative ways to encourage supporters to give on Great Give Day. To bolster their chances for success, the Community Foundation provides participating nonprofits with free communication and marketing resources, plus training opportunities.
Making Calls for Camp
On Great Give Day, Ewalu Bible Camp and Retreat Center Executive Director Frank Johnson is on the phone until 8 p.m. thanking each person who gave.
“The timeliness of calling on Great Give Day is so important,” he says.
The calls go a long way to keeping people engaged each year, and as a result, the Strawberry Point organization raised about $8,000 in 2022.
“We also do social media and email marketing. The exciting thing for us is reaching a different demographic of donors – generally younger, more online-oriented,” says Johnson.
The money raised will help replace Ewalu’s aging A-frame bridge across the Maquoketa River.
Nurturing a Community Resource for Kids
Thanks to the leadership of Executive Director Sarah Lind and its board finance committee, the Felix Adler Children’s Discovery Center in Clinton raised over $11,500 on Great Give Day 2022.
“Our keys to success are direct mail messages to past donors and distribution to potential donors. These pieces explain the endowment drive and how it strengthens our mission,” says Lind. “We keep in touch with new donors through email, direct mail and personal contact.”
By directing Great Give Day gifts to its endowment, the center is working to build a sustainable funding source for the future.