401Gives. Contributed image.

Rhode Island is just two weeks away from its largest single day of giving when 401Gives returns in support of the state’s nonprofit sector and does so bigger than ever before. Not only has United Way of Rhode Island set the effort’s most ambitious goal yet, aiming to raise $4.01 million, but 401Gives will enjoy its first-ever “Weekend Edition” and take over the Ocean State beginning at 6 am on Friday, March 31.

“This is the first time 401Gives falls on a Saturday, so we thought it’d make a powerful statement for our nonprofit community to extend its reach with new partnerships and fun happenings,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “Of course, the main objective remains – and that’s to elevate and support the vital work our nonprofits do every single day.”

401Gives, which pays homage to Rhode Island’s only zip code and the April 1 date it is built around, first appeared in 2020. Created and powered by United Way and supported by local sponsors, including Papitto Opportunity Connection, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of R.I., Rhode Island Foundation and others, the unified day of giving helps nonprofits share their stories while making it easy for people to donate directly to them. So far, more than 500 local organizations have signed on to participate. Participating nonprofits are searchable at 401Gives.org, by both community and cause.

In 2022, Rhode Islanders made 20,153 donations to local nonprofits during 401Gives, raising more than $3.1 million for their work. That pushed the day’s three-year total to nearly $7 million.

New this year is the addition of a signature 401Gives WaterFire on Saturday, April 1. Beginning at 7 p.m. there will be a WaterFire procession with nonprofits in Memorial Park, followed by a special partial lighting at 7:10 p.m. Throughout the lighting there will be QR codes placed to direct people to the 401Gives site to donate to local organizations. The lighting is sponsored by Rhode Island Energy. Additionally on April 1, the Providence Bruins will show their support of 401Gives during their 7 p.m. game at the Amica Mutual Pavilion – a game also serving as “Star Wars” night.

Other 401Gives-related happenings include Revival Brewing donating $1 from each sale of one of its signature drinks throughout the month of March. The proceeds will be put into a prize pool for a nonprofit to win during 401Gives. And there are a number of independent events being organized by participating nonprofits and open to the public. These can be found on the 401Gives events page, which is updated regularly. One such event is Children’s Friend’s 401Gives kick-off party at Narragansett Brewery in Providence on March 31 from 5 to 9 p.m. If you’re a nonprofit with an event to highlight, please email United Way at 401Gives@unitedwayri.org.

Also, there is still time for nonprofits to register to participate in this April’s 401Gives. Registration remains open until March 17, and nonprofits can sign up here and at 401Gives.org.

For more information about 401Gives, or if there are questions, contact Caitlynn Douglas at (401) 444-0720, or email 401Gives@unitedwayri.org.