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Give Big Gallatin Valley reaches new heights

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The annual nonprofit event brought in record-breaking donations

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

GALLATIN COUNTY – Give Big Gallatin Valley reached a new record this year, showing just how generous the community we live in is. Give Big is an annual event spanning 24-hours in which the Gallatin Valley and surrounding communities rally to support their participating nonprofits. Put on by the One Valley Community Foundation and sponsored by the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, the event this year took place virtually from 6 p.m. Thursday, May 6 through 6 p.m. Friday, May 7.

This year, donations totaled $2,635,802 supporting 210 different organizations. This is an $835,000 increase from last year. Since the Give Big tradition began seven years ago, the event has raised over $8.4 million for nonprofits located in or serving Gallatin Valley.

“We are astounded by the generosity of the entire community this year,” said Jill Ellwood, Give Big’s program and relations manager. “Community members really stepped up to support the entire nonprofit sector. And the nonprofits did an amazing job at taking ownership of the initiative and promoting it. It was amazing to be a part of it.”

According to data provided by Ellwood, the top categories that people donated to this year were: health and wellness, education, youth, and arts and culture.

“This year we received $38,580 from 84 donors,” said China Reevers, event coordinator for the Arts Council of Big Sky. “Both of these numbers surpassed last year and we’re so grateful to the community for coming together to support Give Big, and us, for a record-breaking year!”

While nonprofits usually partner with local businesses to host treadmill contests, photo booths and other in-person ways to rally the community, the last two years it has been virtual due to the pandemic. It’s virtual platform, however, hasn’t dampened the community’s ability to give.

“This year, donations through Give Big were critical to our nonprofits that have seen an increase in demands on their services due to COVID-19 and the tremendous growth of our region,” said Bridget Wilkinson, executive director of the One Valley Community Foundation, in a press release.

Give Big also provides prizes to help spur momentum and further help participating nonprofits during the 24-hour period. In total, over $20,000 worth of prizes were awarded to nonprofits throughout the day to maximize the impact of each donation. We Are HER, a nonprofit devoted to helping survivors of domestic abuse, received a Kickoff Prize and a Newcomer Award—a surprise that founder Stevie Croisant says will help fund their entire year’s programming.

Another way organizations could raise more funds was by partnering with matching donors. The Bozeman Ice Festival, for example, matched donations made to Friends of Hyalite up to $2,500, and the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Board of Directors matched donations to the nonprofit up to $20,000. BSYE programs are aimed to help 8th through 12th graders build stronger foundations, cultivate meaningful relationships and friendships and discover their potential.

Joe Schadt, BYEP’s marketing and communications manager, says their Give Big efforts rallied 134 donors for a total of $47,365 in donations.

“We still had an awesome Give Big turnout and are so grateful for everyone who contributed,” Schalt said.

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