Over the past eight years, One Valley's Community Foundations Give Big Gallatin Valley event has raised over $11.4 million through 68,000 gifts for local nonprofits. This year's fundraiser, scheduled for May 4 and 5, will allow area residents to fund 250 local nonprofits.
Among the Three Forks area nonprofits participating in the 2023 event are the Headwaters Trail System and Mason Moore Foundation.
The event came to fruition after One Valley President and CEO Bridget Wilkinson saw giving days happening around the country and wanted to bring one to the Gallatin Valley.
One Valley Nonprofit Programming and Relations Manager Jill Elwood said the first Give Big occurred in 2015, with the goal of raising $100,000 for 100 nonprofits.
"The community came together in an amazing way and raised over $230,000 that year. Since then, the event has grown each year," said Elwood. "Last year, Give Big raised $2.87 million for 230 nonprofits (over ten times as much as the first year!). It is truly thanks to the enthusiasm of the nonprofits and the generosity of our community that this event has grown to the size it is today."
To Ellwood, seeing the community's generosity has been humbling beyond words.
"We are deeply grateful to get to host Give Big and provide a platform for this astounding generosity. Over the last eight years, the community has come together to provide over $11.4 million for local nonprofits through Give Big. The truly incredible thing about this event is that it allows all community members to be philanthropists," said Elwood. "Whether a community member can give $5, $500, or $5,000, this is their opportunity to build the community they want to live in. They get to choose what causes they want to support. Give Big is all about power in numbers. When we come together as a community and when each person chooses to support something they care about, incredible things happen."
With many nonprofits seeing the majority of their funding coming between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, Elwood said Give Big is crucial for those who participate.
"Give Big is an opportunity to get an influx of funds in the spring when nonprofits would otherwise need to plan their own campaigns. Additionally, it is a tool for nonprofits of any size to increase their fundraising capacity," Elwood said.
We Are HER Founder Stevie Thieme discussed the impact of Give Big on her organization.
"We Are HER is a small, volunteer-led organization, and without Give Big, we wouldn't have the capacity to pull off a fundraiser of this size. Because of Give Big, we will be able to host our second annual survivor retreat, a program where all the funds come from Give Big. We're so grateful to One Valley for hosting this fundraiser so we can continue to create safe spaces where survivors can heal and grow," Thieme said.
The ninth annual event is slated for May 4 at 6 p.m. to May 5 at 6 p.m., and each of the participating nonprofits will have a customized profile on GiveBigGV.org.
In 2023, donors can also donate to the community fund to support all 250 organizations with one gift.
These donations will be pooled and distributed evenly across the participants.