1,000 Nonprofits to Take Part in Arizona Gives Day Fundraiser

April 4, 2022
Arizona Daily Star

Life is full of give and take, but Arizona nonprofits hope that giving wins during the 10th anniversary of Arizona Gives Day, the 24-hour online donation drive on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5-6, to benefit organizations found at AZGives.org.

“It has been really challenging for nonprofits nationwide as a whole over the last few years, and it is really still a bit of an unknown this year. In 2020 we saw high levels of giving for those who were able to give and in 2021 national trends show that some of that may have waned. Fewer numbers of people were able to give because of everything that was happening,” said Jennifer Purcell, senior vice president and director of development for the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, which founded the fundraising event.

Purcell cited a recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy that summarized three challenges facing nonprofits across the nation: Many have yet to return to traditional pre-pandemic fundraising models since people may be hesitant to attend in-person events; nonprofits, like many businesses, are struggling to find and retain staff; and many are feeling the negative impact of inflation.

“Inflation is a bit of a double whammy for organizations on the front lines. There has been a big increase in the cost of goods to serve those who need the most help. For example, with a nonprofit that is caring for animals, their cost for food, medicine and other supplies are increasing with inflation. Inflation also means there are more people struggling to feed their animals, plus families don’t have as much to give. That makes it even more important for people who are able to give to any nonprofit to continue doing so in order to keep our communities strong,” said Purcell.

This year, more than 1,000 organizations statewide will participate in the Arizona Gives Day, which has raised more than $30 million since inception; 294 of those are headquartered in Southern Arizona, with more than 235 based in Pima County. Nonprofits range from micro to x-large, with missions including everything from animals and the arts to education, the environment, economic develop, health, human services, social advocacy, youth development and much more.

Registered nonprofits will vie for $180,000 in incentive prize money courtesy of presenting sponsor FirstBank and other sponsors such as Freeport McMoRan Foundation, Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and Tucson Electric Power/UniSource Energy Services. In addition, TEP/UNS is matching employees’ contributions up to $10,000. Qualifying donations for all incentives can be made through the profile pages of individual nonprofits at AZGives.org. Incentives include prizes for nonprofits in categories from micro to x-large that receive the most donations during specific time blocks along with “Power Hour” and “Golden Ticket” prizes and other random drawings. Donations to many nonprofits also qualify for matching dollars pledged by individual supporters.

Additionally, Purcell wants donors to be aware that donations to participating nonprofits may qualify for a tax credit through the Qualifying Charitable Organizations Tax Credit. Contributions made by April 18 from Arizona residents may qualify for a dollar-for-dollar credit on 2021 or 2022 state income taxes (up to $400 for individuals and $800 for married couples filing jointly).

Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, which hopes to raise at least $5,000 through Arizona Gives Day, is among the 107 Southern Arizona nonprofits that can benefit from the qualifying tax credit. CEO Denise Watters said the organization’s 2022 financial focus includes improvements to its six clubhouses and continued expansion of programs, including full-time summer programs, for youth ages 7 to 17. The organization, which has 4,500 members and serves an additional 8,000 youths through various programming, has also implemented a new emphasis on health and wellness.

“It is not just about being physically fit, but mentally fit, given the awareness about mental health that resulted from COVID. We also have an academic specialist on board assessing the impact of distance earning on our youth to find out if they fell behind, and if so, whether that was in areas of reading, math or science. This specialist can asses mental health and assign the youth with tutors to address the issues resulting from COVID,” said Watters.

Ultimately, the organization seeks to build brighter futures for youth in need citywide, according to Watters.

“We are in the right neighborhoods to reach youth in areas and pockets of Tucson that need us the most for a safe haven. We want to provide opportunities to help them develop goals and attain their dreams,” said Watters.

Esperanza En Escalante , another local nonprofit participating in Arizona Gives Day, also qualifies for the tax credit.

Dedicated to providing transitional and permanent housing, social services, programs and transportation to homeless and near-homeless veterans and their families, the organizations serves about 150 veterans annually.

Funds raised through Arizona Gives Day will help to cover the costs of rehabilitating housing and providing needed furniture and supplies for veterans on the 16-acre property, according to Director Phyllis Russell.

“Many of the veterans who we serve would otherwise be living on the streets. It’s challenging because they come with lots of issues. Many have a background of substance abuse and we try to help them lead a clean and sober life and navigate the system to assist with resources for benefits if they qualify. Our goal is to transition them from homelessness to self-sufficiency,” Russell said.

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