It could be worth $1,000 to your favorite Omaha area charity.
Omaha Gives, the charitable fund drive that aims to turn small donations into big bucks, has gotten underway.
The official date for the 24-hour fund drive is May 22. However, donors can schedule their gifts any time at www.omahagives.org.
“We wanted to create a day where $10 really does make a difference, and people in the community can be proud of that donation,” said Kali Baker, vice president of community investment for the Omaha Community Foundation, which is hosting the online fund drive.
The purpose of the fund drive is to encourage many people to make donations, with the minimum donation being $10.
Nearly 1,000 nonprofits are participating.
Last year, 18,000 people donated, and the program raised $7.4 million. Baker is hoping for similar results this year.
“It’s been amazing how the community rallies around this,” she said.
Because of the ongoing need for flood relief, this year’s fund drive will include flood relief in the searchable categories for those people wanting to make a donation to a charity helping with recovery.
The program includes a variety of incentives and special features to make giving fun and collaborative.
Participating nonprofits can compete for their share of $132,000 in incentives, including an hourly prize given to any nonprofit that receives at least $10 in donations that hour.
There will also be participation prizes to organizations receiving the highest number of individual donations during a given time period.
The incentive money and prizes are being awarded by the Omaha Community Foundation, and that’s where $10 can be worth 100 times that. If you participate in Omaha Gives by donating $10 to your favorite local charity on May 22 (via the Omaha Gives website), your charity will be entered into a lottery for a $1,000 prize for that hour. Give as many separate $10 donations as you’d like during distinct hourly periods, and your charity will be eligible each time.
A total of 112 $1,000 prizes will be given out.
Additionally, about 63 nonprofits have collectively raised about $705,000 in matching funds. So donations given to those nonprofits on May 22 will be matched up to a specified amount.
Baker said the program has been successful in generating small donations. Last year about 75 percent of donations were $100 or less.
“That’s a lot of small donations that really add up,” she said.