Why Fairfield County Gives Matters

Catholic Charities Board Member, Bill Tommins penned this letter in a recent email to our Advisory Boards about important of Fairfield County Gives, which takes place on March 1st. Our agency made the decision to come together as a team and enter the competition as one unit under the Catholic Charities banner. We hope that you will read Bill’s letter and it will inspire you to donate to our agency next Thursday.

If you are like me, your email box is likely starting to fill up with emails from various local non-profits about Fairfield County Giving Day on March 1, less than one week from today. Giving Day represents a great opportunity for Catholic Charities and our various programs to reach new individual donors, and I’d ask each of us to consider forwarding an email to friends and family to encourage broad participation.

In my role at Bank of America, I have been intimately involved with Giving Day since its inception 5 years ago, as the bank was at the drawing board with the Fairfield County Community Foundation over the concept. Bank of America has been the lead sponsor of Giving Day since that time. Our financial support, in part, helps to fund the prize pool of over $100,000 that local charities are competing for to reward their successful fundraising efforts. Since inception, Fairfield County Giving Day has raised over $4.5MM for local non-profits from over 55,000 individual donations.  Last year, Giving Day set a new record raising $1.5 million from over 13,000 individual donations to over 400 local charities.  The two metrics that stand out to me are that the average donation was $77, and 34% of the gifts were from first time donors. Fairfield County Giving Day was really designed to expand the reach of local non-profits to source new donors, expand individual giving, and provide useful tools to non-profits to drive social media engagement.

Last year, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County raised just over $20,000 via Giving Day.  This was an improvement over the prior year, but I think this program can be much more impactful to us, and our goal is to raise in excess of $25,000 on March 1. By comparison, a local community theatre organization in Stamford received over 1,000 individual contributions last year from their network of friends, and has raised significant funding over the past 5 years from this activity.

Please help us spread the word to those you know, and on March 1, “give where you live”!



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