TAMPA — May 6 is all about charity. It’s Give Day Tampa Bay.
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Florida Next Foundation are teaming up to conduct a 24-hour charitable donations marathon, aiming to raise more than $1 million — all online.
Some 384 nonprofit groups have signed up to take part in the event, and there is a charity for just about everyone. The West Coast AIDS Foundation, the Emergency Care Help Organization, St. Michael’s Legal Center for Women and Children, even the American Stage Theatre Company have signed up for Give Day.
“We really wanted to make sure there was something for everyone,” said Jocelyn Lister Carpenter, with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. “We’ve got the arts and culture, animals, youth development, you name it.”
The two organizations are bringing this concept to the Tampa Bay area for the first time.
The Community Foundation focuses on improving the area through creative philanthropy, vision and leadership, and the Florida Next Foundation works to empower young people, entrepreneurs and small businesses to drive innovation that will enhance Florida’s economy and quality of life.
“This concept is something that has been catching on around the country and we decided we wanted to do a day of giving to celebrate the 100th anniversary of community foundations in the United States,” Carpenter said.
Florida Next Foundation holds forums during which people have 90 seconds to pitch ideas for the betterment of the community. Two people did a pitch not long ago for the culture of philanthropy and it fit perfectly with the Community Foundation’s plan for a day of giving, Carpenter said. So the two groups teamed up.
On May 6, the Give Day website home page changes over to a list of categories from which people can choose. “If they want, they can drill down to, say, give to an arts nonprofit based in St. Petersburg,” Carpenter said. People who want to sign up in advance of May 6 can do so and will receive an email reminder 48 hours in advance, then a call on Tuesday to complete their charitable contribution.
“We haven’t really set a formal goal, only because it is the first one we’ve had, but we have been trying to benchmark with Miami,” Carpenter said. Miami held a similar event in February and raised $1 million, she said.
“One of the goals, besides building philanthropy, is reaching out to young professionals and to the next generation of community leaders,” Carpenter said. “We have a committee made up of leaders all under 35, and they have been helping to spread the word, pitching Give Day to companies and relying heavily on social media as well as traditional media.”
It is a community-wide event to show off Tampa Bay’s spirit of giving, she said, and to raise awareness of local nonprofit groups.