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Midlands Gives nets $509,000 for charity despite tech woes

Human Resources
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Attendees (above) got an opportunity to visit with representatives of non-profits participating in Midlands Gives at Spirit Communications Park. A camel (below) attends Midlands Gives as part of Jesus is His Name, a live presentation of the life and ministry of Jesus. (Photos/Jeff Blake)
 


(Story updated 5:33 p.m. to reflect new total of donations, new link for Midlands Gives, extension of giving deadline.)

Technical difficulties have extended Midlands Gives’ third annual 24 hours of giving to 36.

National online giving platform Kimbia, which processes donations to Midlands Gives, began experiencing problems caused by high-volume traffic around 11 a.m. Tuesday. More than 50 cities nationwide, in partnership with Give Local America, were using the site.

camel web

Would-be contributors either could not donate or found the process slowed, prompting Midlands Gives to extend its original deadline from midnight to noon on Wednesday. The event began at midnight Tuesday.

Donations are also being accepted at YourFoundation.org.

Despite the glitch, Midlands Gives raised more than a half million dollars from almost 5,000 individual donations in the first 17 hours of the charitable event.

The giving challenge allows donors to contribute directly to 383 nonprofits in the 11 Midlands counties served by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. Donors make a minimum $20 contribution to a nonprofit selected from an online catalog at www.MidlandsGives.org. All funds go directly to the chosen organization, minus credit card and processing fees.

Tuesday’s technical trouble led to reshuffling of some promotions, including the Aflac Match Minute. The supplemental insurance company was to match every contribution of exactly $100 from 6 a.m. to 6:01 a.m., noon to 12:01 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 5:01 p.m. Because noon donations had trouble being recorded, matching gifts from the last scheduled time period doubled to $200, up to $20,000.

SCE&G, which had pledged to donate $30,000 if contributions reached $1 million by 5 p.m., agreed to donate that amount with no restrictions.

At 5 p.m. Tuesday, midlandsgives.org listed a total of $509,901 and 4,924 individual donations. St. Peter’s Catholic School led the contributions leaderboard with $14,545, while Historic Columbia had received 114 gifts.

Nationwide, $1.9 million had been raised via 11,563 donations as of 5 p.m., according to givelocalamerica.org.

Tuesday was festive at Spirit Communications Park, home of the Columbia Fireflies and headquarters for Midlands Gives. Nine local mayors showed off their big-league arms for their favorite causes in the Mayors’ Pitching Contest from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and a live concert by the band Heart n’ Soul began at 5 p.m. Visitors browsed a Nonprofit Marketplace with information on 70 local charities, including indie Columbia theater The Nickelodeon, the Columbia Museum of Art, and Dress for Success, which provides women with support, developmental tools and professional attire.

“Today has been absolutely fabulous,” JoAnn M. Turnquist, president and CEO of the Central Carolina Community Foundation, said. “The folks who are participating are proving once again that the Midlands is a place that allows people to engage with one another. It’s a place where people care about each other.”

In 2015, Midlands Gives raised more than $1.5 million via 11,372 individual donations for 251 charities, a gifts total which ranked seventh in the country. The event raised nearly $705,000 via 5,186 gifts in its inaugural year of 2014.

The 383 nonprofits participating in this year’s event represent a 50% increase from 2015. The self-selected charities serve Calhoun, Clarendon, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda and Sumter counties. Any 501(c)(3) organization in good standing with the Secretary of State is eligible to register.

Contact Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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