Rhode Islanders have done it again, rising to the occasion to support local nonprofits and their work during 401Gives.

After kicking off at 6 a.m. on Friday, April 1, the effort that’s become the largest single day of giving in the Ocean State tallied $3.1 million raised for 507 different organizations. Across the board, 401Gives saw sizable growth in every category in its third year.

“Here in Little Rhody, we like to dream big and set high goals, and right now, there is more than three million dollars invested in our state’s nonprofit sector that was not there just one week ago and that is cause for celebration,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO in a statement. “We again saw 401Gives grow significantly, but even more importantly was that Rhode Islanders had a lot of fun in doing it. The energy around the state was incredible!”

The $3.1 million raised represents a nearly 35 percent increase over last year, while the number of total donors (12,900+) and total gifts made (20,215) were also record-setting. Since its debut in 2020, 401Gives has now raised in excess of $6.6 million for Rhode Island nonprofits.

Of the 507 nonprofits to receive donations – a new 401Gives high – 127 of them were first-time participants. These first-time participants raised a total of $227,147, with Movement Ground Farm leading the way with $24,202. The Tiverton-based nonprofit, which provides underrepresented communities with access to locally-grown food, and outdoor and farm space, was named the 401Gives “Rookie of the Year” for engaging the most donors (205) as a new participant.

The day’s top fundraisers also reached new heights, with Foster Forward raising $209,505; Audubon Society of RI coming in at $161,872; Dare to Dream Ranch topping $78,974; and School One hitting $76,403. United Way of RI raised $88,287 to send kids to programs through their summer learning initiative. In total, 130 organizations exceeded $5,000, while 66 topped $10K and 30 raised more than $20K.

For the first time since 401Gives made its inaugural appearance less than three weeks after the start of the pandemic, United Way was able to welcome in-person activity and the day’s energy to its headquarters. 50 Valley Street in Providence became 401Gives’ home base, with benefiting organizations, partners and sponsors paying visits, and from where real-time updates and prize/matching gift winners were announced.

401Gives is powered by United Way and supported by presenting sponsor Papitto Opportunity Connection. The Rhode Island Foundation offered two challenges, matching the first $25,000 in donations made during the 6 a.m. hour, and also matching the first $25,000 in gifts made beginning at noon. At 4:01 p.m., the Papitto Opportunity Connection presented a $20,000 match that was met in fewer than 11 seconds.

401Gives has been recognized with a Gubernatorial Proclamation by Governor Daniel J. McKee, officially marking April 1 in Rhode Island as 401Gives Day. The day was created by United Way of RI to lift up the state’s nonprofit sector through a unified day driven by the power of philanthropy.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in...