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 our local nonprofits that are committed to making South Central Texas a great place to live, work, and play.

Since 2014, 217,039 donors have given over $25 million dollars to our local 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 26, 2020.


Q. What are the terms of service to participate in Big Give??

The terms of service outline the rules and responsibilities for participating agencies as well as Big Give. Please review them here.


Q. Which organizations can participate in the Big Give?

A: IRS-approved and compliant 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations located within our 15 county service area (Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Wilson, Karnes, Medina, Kendall, Kerr, Uvalde, Real, Atascosa, Gonzales, Gillespie, Bandera, Frio) can sign up between November 4, 2019 through February 21 to participate and raise money on March 26, 2020.


Q. Is there a fee to participate?

A: Yes, a $200 participation service fee will be charged for organizations registering between November 4, 2019 and January 17, 2020. A $300 fee will be charged for registration between January 18 and February 21, 2020. No organization will be able to register after February 21, 2020 – no exceptions.

In order 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 – no exceptions .

The fees associated with participating in Big Give are part of the services we provide - intensive training which is available to all staff & board members of each agency (this alone is a value of over $650 per person), marketing materials, a robust online toolkit to assist and prepare for the giving day. We encourage you to watch a video The Nonprofit Council produced “the true cost of fundraising” located at tncouncil.org/advocacy - we continue to educate the nonprofit community & those donors who support them that there is a cost to running fundraising events/programs. The majority of giving days throughout the country have similar fees for their participating nonprofits.  For more information about fundraising fees, click HERE.


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: Give Gab 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, Give Gab 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 nonprofit(s) 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, as well as ACH deposit. Donations will be processed and receipted by GiveGab.


Q. Is there a minimum donation?

A: Yes. The minimum donation is $10. There is no maximum.


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 in 5 business days. Prize money earned on March 26 is disbursed separately by The Nonprofit Council 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 2019 Big Give. This means that of your donation, 6.2% + $0.30 will be retained by the credit card companies, GiveGab and The Nonprofit Council.

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% + $0.30 credit card charges on all gifts made with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. These are standard charges from each credit card company for donations made online. If you give to multiple organizations in one transaction, this fee will be charged to each separate gift within that transaction. Individuals who donate more than $100 will be given the opportunity to pay via electronic debit. The associated fee is $3.00 per transaction and would take place of the 2.2% + $0.30 credit card fee.

  • 2% service charge to the Nonprofit Council to cover the management costs, year-round event planning, free nonprofit trainings, nonprofit support services (marketing materials, templates, advertising, securing business/corporate and foundation sponsorships/support and financial services (auditing prize winners & processing prize checks).

In 2019, 93% 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 easily give to one or more local nonprofits on the big day.

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

  1. SPOTLIGHT ON NONPROFITS - Each year, Big Give participants say the Big Give helps raise awareness for the local 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 15- county region with the tools they need to fulfill their important missions.

  3. LEVERAGE - Each year, the Big Give provides prize money to agencies that participate in the event. This money is spread among the different size participants and enables agencies to maximize their efforts. Nonprofits are also encouraged to seek a matching gift for their campaign. This gives them the opportunity to leverage donations during the day and incentivize them to meet the match(s). In 2019, of the participating nonprofits that secured a match, 93% received the full value of their match through individual online donations.

  4. COMMUNITY & FRIENDLY COMPETITION -Giving is contagious and by creating an entire event dedicated to supporting our local 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, 43% 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 is a mission/cause that will speak to you!


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 email your donation receipt for tax purposes and send personal thank you messages.


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 26?

A: Yes! The Big Give website will open one week before (on March 19) to early giving. By giving early, you won’t have to worry about missing the BIG DAY. From March 19 to March 25, you can give early, but you cannot pre-schedule your gift for a particular time on March 26. As soon as you choose to give, your donation will go through.

All early gifts will count toward your nonprofits’ totals for the Big Give amount raised and for overall prize money (end-of-day prizes only), but they will not count toward hourly/day-part prize awards, because you must give real-time in that particular hour on March 26 for it to count towards an hourly/day-part 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 26 for a particular hour. The giving day is truly from midnight to midnight on March 26. The early gifts option is for those that may not be able to give on March 26, 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, or schedule your preferred timing. 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 26, 2020 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! As mentioned above, you may schedule recurring gifts to any participating agency.  Also, thebiggivesa.org site will remain open through midnight on March 29.


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 midnight on February 21, 2020.


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

A: 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: No. The participation 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 to the agency’s account. This means that every dollar your friends give to your champion page roll up to the nonprofit. That means more money raised, more opportunities for prizes, and more donors to meet!