GREEN BAY - The last 24 hours were big in Green Bay.
Give BIG Green Bay — the area's first-ever all-day online fundraiser — raised more than $800,000 to benefit 31 local nonprofit organizations.
The crowdfunding event, hosted by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Green Bay Packers Foundation, saw more than 2,500 donations come through its website between noon Tuesday and noon Wednesday.
Dennis Buehler, president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, said nearly $600,000 of the total came from individual donors, while the Green Bay Packers Foundation provided a $215,000 matching donation.
He said 40 percent of individual donors specified their gift was the first they had ever given to the organization of their choosing.
Buehler said the online fundraiser is meant to give local charities a larger platform on which to raise significant money to support their missions — something he said is incredibly difficult for organizations to do independently. The crowdfunding event, he said, also aims to spread awareness about the variety of causes in the city.
Fundraiser categories included animal welfare, arts and culture, community improvement, education, environment and conservation, health and wellness, hunger and homelessness, human services, military and law enforcement, recreation and sports, and youth development.
N.E.W. Community Shelter is one of the beneficiaries.
Kris Olson, director of development at the Green Bay homeless shelter, didn’t know what to expect from Give BIG Green Bay, but the results were overwhelming, she said.
“The number in my head was $10,000,” she said. “But we really didn’t have a goal, just like the campaign didn’t. This exceeded everything we could have imagined.”
Donations came in from 28 states including Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Florida.
Packers players including Ty Montgomery, Jordy Nelson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix tweeted their support for Give BIG Green Bay. Buehler said those gestures really helped spread the message.
"Our nonprofits were able reach across the country," he said. "This is our hometown and it's evident people everywhere love this hometown."
The participating nonprofits will be granted a share of the Packers foundation funds proportional to the amount they raised overall. For example, an organization raising 15 percent of the total of individual gifts, will be given 15 percent of the match.