Over a Million Dollars Donated During CFO's Day of Giving

Jun 11, 2015

Christine Temple; Lisa Matus; Emily Gregory and Missy Cravens represent the Ozarks Food Harvest at the May 5th Give Ozarks Rally
Credit Mike Smith / KSMU-FM

For KSMU I’m Mike Smith, and it’s time now for Making a Difference Where You Live, produced in cooperation with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which a little over a month ago hosted the inaugural Give Ozarks (online) Day of Giving.  From midnight to midnight May 5th, donors logged on to giveozarks.org , and contributed to support some 150 non-profits in the 46 communities across southern Missouri where CFO affiliates are found. 

Brian Fogle is President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.  “It was a fun day, but more importantly it was a generous day.  People kept giving al throughout the day.”

Including the cash and checks collected on my 5th, delivered to the CFO by May 7th, the final result for the first ever Give Ozarks (online) Day of Giving shows close to 7,700 donations totaling $1,018,962.  Brian Fogle describes the scene during the final minutes of the drive, in a room at the CFO where a bank of computers kept track of the tally.  “As it got closer and we started to go over $900,000, it’s not overstating it that our staff was ecstatic.   We never really talked about a goal and never publically or privately said to one another what we thought our goal was, but as the day went on and we saw the total rise, we started admitting I Was Hoping to get to a Million Dollars and others would say Me Too”. SOUND: CFO STAFF COUNTING DOWN FINAL SECONDS OF THE DRIVE

But, Brian Fogle says in that same room 23 hours and 59 minutes earlier, a slight scare was in the air.  “The worst fear is the technology won’t work.  That was our biggest fear, and in the opening minutes it didn’t work properly.” 

Jarad Johnson:  “At midnight, although we had all those weeks of testing, a bug occurred in the system that didn’t allow people to through with their donation. They could see the web site, they could get to the pages, but they couldn’t make a donation.”  Johnson is a partner and co-founder of Mostly Serious, a Springfield based interactive agency which builds web sites and software applications.  Mostly Serious partnered with the CFO in building the multi-use fundraising platform Cause Momentum, and the giveozarks.org web page through which on May 5th, donors could find and contribute to their favorite nonprofit originations.  “So at midnight we immediately we jumped into action and it took us about an hour to identify and correct the bug.  During that time we were working with CFO to make sure the public knew what was happening, and agencies were filling people in at the same time.  After we got through that bug it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day.”

Brian Fogle:  “That was the benefit of having a local vendor in the room with us.  They were on top of it, they identified the problem, they got it fixed and off we go!” 

Throughout the day, as the online donations were tallied, matching grants and cash incentives from individual, media, corporate, and CFO coffers were awarded to a nonprofit which raised the most money in a target hour, or received the most donations, among other fun but competitive categories.  Each Award Hour had a name:  Night Owl; Golden Ticket; Mystery Hour; Luck of the Draw. 

Mike Stevens manages The Moxie Cinema, to which over $20,000 was donated by days end:  “The CFO had a couple of different jobs and one that they did really well was to explain to all the nonprofits what they were doing, what the goals would be and what and where the prize money would be as far as they could before the day of. And that really helped us create a strategy behind the scenes.  But on the whole, CFO did a great job of telegraphing what we want to do.  And what we want to do is move the conversation of philanthropy in the Ozarks online”. 

Mahleena Maigi represented the Lost and Found Grief Center during the May 5th Give Ozarks Rally at Jordan Valley Park where over 50 nonprofits got together to greet the public and gather donations:  “So we have been all over social media.  Facebook; Twitter; Instagram; E-mail; posting about it, sharing it pretty much all day long.   We wanted to reach new people, people who may not have heard of us before.  So far so good, we are seeing new donors and people are sharing our photos and posts.  We are definitely seeing the word get out to the community so we are very pleased with that.”

CFO President Brian Fogle:  “A lesson learned by everyone is that this can be a big deal for their non-profit.  And you did it without an event.  You didn’t have to have a golf tournament, or a dinner or a go out and get sponsors and all that. It’s just people giving on-line from the privacy of their home or office.  What a great way to raise money.”

For information on the grant, initiatives, programs and nonprofit partners of th Community Foundation of the Ozarks, visit www.cfozarks.org