Fundraiser with goal of raising $1 million helps Utah non-profits

Posted at 10:22 PM, Mar 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-21 00:23:29-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- For 24 hours, people all over the state showed just how much they were willing to give through the Love UT, Give UT campaign.

In its second year, the group behind it, the Community Foundation of Utah, aimed to raise $1 million.

“We are so pumped,” Executive Director Fraser Nelson said. “I’m not going to stay up until three in the morning figuring it out because I’ll probably get the math wrong, but I’ll tell you what: When we come out with our full number, it’s going to be well over a million.”

After raising $800,000 for about 350 non-profits during last year’s campaign, more than 400 groups signed on to the event this year.

“They care about their community, and they care about the work we do in their community,” said Ashley Patterson, executive director at Wasatch Community Gardens.

She and dozens of other groups held watch parties throughout the night as they awaited results of the 24-hour donation campaign.

“It’s a pretty significant amount of money, especially in non-profits, a lot of our grants are tied to specific things, and this is unrestricted funds that we can use,” Patterson said.

The event allows the public to donate any amount of money to whatever group they want, over the course of 24 hours. The selection this year included 410 small to large non-profit groups, as well as 53 universities, colleges and schools.

For the groups, the money goes far.

“We are serving people living with HIV, that are both living with and affected by HIV,” said Tyler Fisher, a program director for the Utah Aids Foundation. “We have a rich community of non-profits in Utah, and we all need the support of our community to continue to provide the services we do.”

In only its second year, the numbers from the campaign show that support only seems to be growing.

“We have $460,000 in challenge grants. And companies all over the state are matching their employee’s giving,” Nelson said. “Utah is going to prove, once again, it’s the most charitable in the nation.”

To track the donations, or make one before the midnight deadline, click here.