In a sign of unity that will impact the lives of tens of thousands of their neighbors, Rhode Islanders came together to raise a total of $1,252,786 during the first-ever 401Gives campaign powered by United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI). The funds are the result of 7,338 donations made on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to the nearly 400 organizations to participate in the effort. Contributions can still be made through April 3.
“We are beyond grateful for our community’s incredible generosity in support of the essential work of our state’s nonprofits – work that may be more vital now than ever before,” said Cortney Nicolato, President and CEO, UWRI in a statement on Thursday. “In Rhode Island, we help each other and we have each other’s backs, and never has that been more evident than it was yesterday.”
UWRI created its new statewide giving campaign to lift up the Ocean State’s nonprofit community and to generate support for its work. 401Gives was conducted entirely using a unified online platform and via social media. Its planning and development began in mid-2019, with hundreds of local organizations signing on to take part in the day in the months that followed.
“When we announced 401Gives, none of us could have imagined today’s reality or the level of need we’re seeing among our neighbors. There isn’t a community or an organization not affected by the current health crisis,” added Nicolato.
Modeled after successful giving days in other parts of the country, 401Gives made it easy for nonprofits to share their stories and collect donations through GiveGab, a secure fundraising platform. UWRI made the tool available to participating nonprofits, not only for April 1, but also for the coming year to help each organization maximize what 401Gives has to offer. There are no fees to organizations.
401Gives was powered by UWRI and supported by some of the state’s leading businesses, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI and FM Global. The Rhode Island Foundation matched the first $50,000 raised on April 1, and an additional $40,000 was made available to nonprofits by way of random prize drawings thanks to the generosity of Brave River Solutions, Centreville Bank, Citrin Cooperman, Cox Communications, National Grid, Oak Street Health, Otraway, and Zennovation Fund & Lorne Adrain.
The nonprofits to lead the way in fundraising were the Rhode Island Community Food Bank with $44,055, and Hope & Main with $41,600.