Q. What is the Big Give?

A: The Big Give is South Central Texas’ 24-hour online day of online giving fueled by the power of generous donors, creative nonprofits, social media, collaboration, and you!

The goal of the Big Give is to support the nonprofits in our region that are committed to making South Central Texas a great place to live, work, and play.

Since 2014, 150,000 donors have given nearly $15 million dollars to over 2,000 nonprofits through the Big Give, making it one of the most successful giving days in the country.

Q. When is the Big Give?

A: This year’s Big Give will take place from midnight to midnight on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Q. Which organizations can participate in the Big Give?

A: IRS-approved and compliant 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations located in Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Uvalde, and Wilson counties can sign up now through 5 p.m. on February 22 to participate and raise money on March 22, 2018.

Q. Is there a fee to participate?

A: Yes, a $200 participation service fee will be charged for organizations registering between October 1, 2017 and Feb 1, 2018. A $300 participation service fee will be charged for organizations registering between February 2 and February 22, 2018. No organization will be able to register after February 22, 2018.

In order for an organization to be approved and participate, the participation service charge must be paid upfront by credit card. The Big Give does not offer a pay by check option or invoice system and no refunds will be issued.

Q: Why do you require the last four digits of the nonprofit administrator’s Social Security number and date of birth for a nonprofit’s donation payouts?

A: GiveGab is an online platform that collects, processes, and distributes money in the form of donations from supporters to organizations, and they fall under certain regulations, in particular, for US based organizations, they are required to abide by the compliance laws that are part of the Patriot Act.

In short, GiveGab needs to verify that the individual who is signing up an organization to collect donations, is who they say they are and is authorized to do so. And, we need to verify that the organization is a legitimately registered corporation. Collecting this information helps us streamline donation processing and payouts with our underlying payment processor (Stripe) and the financial institutions that they work with. More importantly, we have a duty to our users that when they choose to support a cause with a monetary gift, that money is going where they expect it to go! You can read a full explanation here, including how this information is stored.

Q. Who can donate?

A: Anyone and everyone is encouraged to donate to the nonprofits of their choice through the Big Give! Gifts are not limited to your location. All donations made through the Big Give are eligible for a tax deduction. Contributions can be made via credit and debit card only. Donations will be processed and receipted by GiveGab.

Q. Who is GiveGab?

A: GiveGab is an online platform that helps nonprofits raise money, engage donors and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently. GiveGab offers a full portfolio of simple and easy to use products that allows organizations to function in a more streamlined manner.

Q. How will donations be distributed?

A: Each donation made online through the Big Give website to a participating nonprofit will be disbursed directly from GiveGab via direct deposit to the nonprofit within 36-48 hours. Prize money earned on March 22 is disbursed separately by the San Antonio Area Foundation via a check to the nonprofits within 4 weeks.

Q. How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?

A: The fee structure remains the same as the 2017 Big Give. This means that of your donation, 6.2% + $0.30 while be retained by the credit card companies, GiveGab and the Big Give partner organizations.

The complete breakdown is as follows:

  • 2% GiveGab service charge for building and maintaining a highly secure hosting site. This covers the building and maintenance of the website, live event customer service, donation processing, and other resources.
  • 2.2% credit card charges on all transactions made with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. These are standard charges from each credit card company for donations made online.
  • 1% service charge to the Nonprofit Council to cover the management costs, year-round event planning, free nonprofit trainings, and nonprofit support services.
  • 1% service charge to the San Antonio Area Foundation for year-round event support services and financial services.

In 2017, over 65% of donors chose to cover all of the processing fees. By choosing to cover the fees, the nonprofit(s) of your choice will receive 100% of your intended gift.

Q. Why should I give through the Big Give as opposed to giving directly to the agency?

A: Great question! The Big Give team always supports giving directly to the nonprofit of your choice, and that’s why we’ve designed a platform that will allow you to give throughout the year.

Here are the 5 top reasons to give through the Big Give:

  1. SPOTLIGHT ON NONPROFITS - Each year, 96% of Big Give participating agencies say the Big Give helps raise awareness for the nonprofit sector. By coming together as one community on one day, we are able to leverage our resources to promote all of the good work nonprofits are doing in our region!
  2. SUPPORT - The Big Give exists to support, equip, and serve the local nonprofit community through free workshops, opportunities for consultation, best practices, tools and templates that can be used to raise support year-round. Our goal is to equip every agency in our 14- county region with the tools they need to fulfill their important missions.
  3. YEAR-ROUND TOOLS - By providing access to year-round online fundraising pages, the Big Give provides nonprofits who might not have the resources for an online donation system with peer-to-peer fundraising and robust features, including a full donor platform. It also gives all nonprofits the opportunity to engage their Big Give donors all year long in a new and fun way while promoting social sharing!
  4. LEVERAGE - Last year, the Big Give provided over $300,000 in prize money to agencies that participated in the event. This money was spread among the different size participants and enabled agencies to maximize their efforts! Over half of the agencies that participate in the Big Give have an annual operating budget under $100,000. For smaller organizations like these, prize money can be a game changer. For example, last year, thanks to prize money, one of our small nonprofits was able to double their operating budget in 24-hours thanks to the money they brought in through the Big Give.
  5. COMMUNITY & FRIENDLY COMPETITION - Giving is contagious and by creating an entire event dedicated to supporting our nonprofits via social sharing, we can come together as a community and encourage our friends and family to give to the causes we love the most. Last year, 50% of donations made through the Big Give came from first-time donors to the organization to which the donation was made. With so many nonprofits to discover, there’s something for everyone!

Q. Who will receive my contact information?

A: The organization(s) you choose to support will have access to your contact information. It is up to you to tell the nonprofit if you would like to remain anonymous to the public, should the nonprofit choose to publicly thank you. Your information would be used solely to send your email receipt via tax purposes and thank you messages, provide the option to receive future notifications, and to notify you of future activities.

Upon donating, you can choose to opt in to the Big Give emails. We send periodic email updates throughout the year on nonprofit spotlights and Big Give updates. If you choose not to opt in to the Big Give emails, we will contact you only if there is a problem with your donation or if there is an extremely important issue or crisis notification.

Q. Can I make donations via a mobile device?

A: Yes! Simply visit www.thebiggivesa.org on your mobile device.

Q. Can I give early if I cannot give on March 22?

A: Yes! The Big Give website will open one week before (on March 15) to early giving. By giving early, you won’t have to worry about missing the big day. From March 15 to March 21, you can give early, but you cannot pre-schedule your gift for a particular time on March 22. As soon as you choose to give, your donation will be processed and charged to your debit or credit card.

All early gifts will count toward your nonprofits’ totals for the Big Give amount raised and for overall prize money (1st place, 2nd place…category prizes), but they will not count toward hourly prize awards, because you must give real-time in that particular hour on March 22 to win an hourly prize. For example, since many organizations choose a particular hour to rally their supporters, it is inequitable to allow organizations to rally their supporters pre-event to schedule gifts on March 22 for a particular hour. The giving day is truly from midnight to midnight on March 22. The early gifts option is for those that may not be able to give on March 22, but still want their gifts to count for overall totals.

Q. Can a donor make recurring gifts?

A: Yes! If you choose, you will now be able to use the Big Give platform to give to your favorite causes monthly. By selecting this option, your initial gift during the 24 hours of the Big Give will count towards the event but your additional gifts throughout the year will not. Only the initial donation made through the Big Give will be subject to the Big Give service charges. Each additional gift after March 22, 2018 will only be subject to GiveGab and credit card fees.

Q. Can I give after the Big Give?

A: The giving doesn’t have to stop after the Big Give ends! Nonprofit pages will be live year-round which means you can come back and support the causes you care about throughout the year!

Q. What if my preferred organization is not listed?

A: Please send an email to info@tncouncil.org, and we will contact the organization to let them know that some of their supporters have voiced an interest in donating to them through the Big Give! Please note that nonprofit registration closes at 5 p.m. on February 22, 2018 so your favorite charity might not have registered yet!

Q: How can I create a giving campaign for the organization of my choice?

A: Simple! All you need to do is search for the organization on our system and click the Fundraise button. After that, an email will be delivered to your inbox with all of the instructions you need to get started.

Q: Do individuals who create their own champion pages also have to pay a participation fee?

A: Nope! The participation fee is only paid once and it is paid by the participating agency.

Q: Do gifts made to champion pages count toward prizes?

A: Yes! Champion pages act as sub pages under an agency’s account. This means that every dollar your friends give to your champion page rolls up to the nonprofit. That means more money raised, more opportunities for prizes, and more donors to meet!

Q: How are Category Prizes awarded?

A: While each organization has the opportunity to select three categories, category prizes are based on the primary category only. The Big Give team has the right to review primary category selection for the purpose of awarding prizes.