El Paso Giving Day had its most successful turnout in the event’s history, raising millions of dollars for hundreds of area nonprofits.
This year’s totals include $1 million in matching donations pledged by Walmart, which made the contribution after the Aug. 3 mass shooting. Giving Day was Nov. 14 and included a weeklong early giving period.
“We are so grateful to our community for their overwhelming support of a wide range of nonprofit organizations during the 4th annual giving campaign. We are especially thankful to Walmart for igniting an incredible spirit of giving this year,” said Mica Short, vice president of development for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation, in an email.
The 2019 El Paso Giving Day raised $3.17 million from 4,654 gifts, Short said. That includes the $1 million in Walmart matching funds.
The 2019 totals far outpaced previous years. In 2018, El Paso Giving Day raised $407,034. In its first year, 2016, the event raised $102,211.
Short said the average online gift was $205, up from last year’s average of $123.
The majority of donations were made by El Pasoans, Short said. But the foundation also received $162,000 in gifts from donors in 385 other cities.
Short said 104 nonprofits had at least some of their Giving Day donations matched by Walmart. Funds raised by nonprofits were matched on a first come, first served basis with a $50,000 cap. Six nonprofits raised enough to reach the cap: El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Kids Excel, FirstLight Community Foundation, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and El Paso Children’s Hospital.
On the El Paso Giving Day website, the rules state that eligible donations for the Walmart match could be made through the early giving period, which ran from Nov. 7 through Nov. 14, as well as the actual giving day on Nov. 14.
The matching funds went quickly. Short said that by that Friday, Nov. 8, the foundation was confident that all $1 million of the Walmart matching grant was pledged out.
“Checks were processed in the order received,” Short said in an email. “We had nonprofits lined up at the office to turn in checks shortly after 6 a.m. that morning.”
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Sara Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105.