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Give Big raises nearly $3M for local nonprofits

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Big Sky nonprofits set up tables for community members to come learn about their organizations as part of Give Big at the BASE community center on May 6. PHOTO BY BELLA BUTLER

24-hour fundraiser breaks records in its eighth year

By Tucker Harris EBS STAFF

GALLATIN VALLEY – Annual 24-hour fundraising event Give Big Gallatin Valley raised more than $2.83 million for local nonprofits between May 5-6, breaking previous records by substantial margins.

This year, 6,045 donors supported 230 organizations, breaking the record in both moneys raised and nonprofits supported by $199,291 and 20 respectively. The 12 participating Big Sky nonprofits raised a total of $251,043 from 441 donations.

Give Big is hosted by One Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit that addresses priorities and concerns in Gallatin Valley, and is sponsored by Yellowstone Club Community Foundation. 

“Our mission is to connect people who care to causes that matter to build our community,” said One Valley President and CEO Bridget Wilkinson. “We can’t really think of a better way to do that than through give big and through the celebration of nonprofit organizations”

New this year, One Valley highlighted organizations that focus on equity and inclusion along with its own efforts to make the Give Big event more accessible.

Among these efforts were fee waivers for nonprofit registration with priority given to organizations that focus on serving communities of color, immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities and women. During the event, One Valley spotlighted 31 organizations that prioritize dismantling systematic oppression, address inequality, build cultures of inclusion and address inequality. One Valley also offered an Equity as a Lived Value prize, awarded to organizations that demonstrate equity and inclusion in their everyday work, and improved the Give Big website to make navigation easier for people with visual impairments and for multilingual community members.

“We’re really proud to be able to reallocate some of our budget to be able to … make it a more inclusive event and ensure that organizations that … were focusing on this equity work were encouraged and able to participate in Give Big this year,” Wilkinson said.  

This year’s event was both in-person and online with fun events that brought the community together, from a pub crawl in Belgrade, tabling in Bozeman and Big Sky and the Arts Council 2022 Music in the Mountains Launch Party at Tips Up, among others.

The Arts Council of Big Sky hosted their 2022 Music in the Mountains Lineup Launch at Tips Up on May 5 to kick off the 24-hour Give Big event. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTS COUNCIL OF BIG SKY

Big Sky Discovery Academy raised $140,000, the most of any nonprofit in Big Sky, exceeding its goal by 112 percent.

“It was a great event and showing of community support for Discovery Academy,” said Scott Poloff, head of schools for Discovery. “In the end, [we’re] just very fortunate to have supportive parents and community.”

Funds raised by Discovery during Give Big will help families cover tuition costs, Poloff said. With the increased enrollment for the upcoming school year, he added, Discovery anticipates the school will need approximately $145,000 to cover student tuition allocations.

The Gallatin River Task Force was another top fundraiser in Big Sky during this year’s Give Big.

“Opportunities like Give Big open up our organization to a platform of exposure that elevates who we are, what we do and the importance of connecting people to the value of this community and the remarkable qualities of the Gallatin River,” said GRTF Communications Manager Marne Hayes.

The task force raised $21,865 from 73 donors to support its mission to ensure long-term protection and restoration of the Gallatin River.

In its first year participating in Give Big event, the Big Sky Sustainability Network Organization, a nonprofit that focuses on preserving and protecting the Big Sky community through sustainable and environmental initiatives, raised $4,485.

“Give Big is such an inspiring opportunity for nonprofits to come together in an effort to support our community and its needs,” said Lizzie Payton, SNO’s community engagement director. “We are honored to be a part of the event and grateful that community members believe SNO’s initiatives are worth their investment.”

As the region continues to grow, Give Big aims to create a connection between the participating organizations and their community members, Wilkinson said. 

“We’re just so proud of how community members and neighbors in each of those communities really showed up for the nonprofits that are creating the social fabric of those communities,” she said.

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