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Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
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Winters groups
rake in $90,000
in just one day

Staff writer
The Big Day of Giving (BigDOG) is a nationwide event asking everyone to donate (online only) within a 24-hour period to their favorite charities. It involves an intensive effort by the sponsoring organizations as well as the participating charities. This year it was held on Cinco de Mayo, May 5.
The organizers in this area were the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Yolo Community Foundation, and the Placer Community Foundation. They do the central logistical, training and coordinating activities for the event along with the independent nonprofit, GiveLocalNow. org.
Five local nonprofits participated in this, the second year, of this event. They were the Center for Land Based Learning, Putah Creek Council, Winters Friends of the Library, Winters Healthcare and the Winters Theatre Company.
Starting at exactly 12 a.m. on May 5, anyone could go online and donate as little as $25 or as much as $10,000. (If you wished to donate more than $10,000, you had to make multiple donations of $10,000.) You can also read a profile of each nonprofit as well as looking at their IRS filing, so you can judge how effective they are at using their money. It is a very efficient set-up and only takes a couple of minutes to give your money to a good cause and get a tax deductible receipt for the effort.
The Center for Land Based Learning garnered the most money — $47,626 — from donations. Winters Friends of the Library was next at $27,645, then Putah Creek Council at $11,350, the Winters Theatre Company at $1,950, and Winters Healthcare at $1,900.
Each organization was very pleased with the return on their investment. As Jim Hewlett, Winters Theatre Company board member said, “We have never asked our patrons for a donation before. They have always paid for an evening’s entertainment. The fact that 40 people were willing to simply give us money, an average of $49 per person, tells us that people like what we do.”
The different Winters organizations had different average giving profiles. For example, the Center for Land Based Learning had 163 donors with an average gift of $292. That means that some people probably gave a very large gift compared to others. The Winters Friends of the Library had 201 donors giving an average of $138, meaning some large gifts and a lot of smaller ones.
The local nonprofits also won some of the prizes given. Putah Creek Council won $500 for the Yolo Landing Prize, given for the last gift given to a Yolo County nonprofit at 11:59.59 p.m. Winters Friends of the Library won the Yolo Leaderboard Grand prize ($500) for the most money raised by a nonprofit with less than $250,000 in revenues. WFoL also won $500 in the Yolo BIGDoG Donor Challenge grant for the nonprofit with the most donors. The Center for Land Based Learning won the Yolo Leaderboard Grand Prize of $500 for large nonprofits — those with revenues above $1 million.
There also will be additional funds that each nonprofit will receive. Many corporations and businesses in the area have pledged “matching funds.” Each participating nonprofit will receive a share of these pledged monies, depending on their percentage of the total donations.
The Sacramento region topped their goal of $5 million dollars this year and raised $5,613,799 for 529 local nonprofits. Last year, this region was third in the nation. It remains to be seen how it ranked this year.
As much work as it was, the local organizations were extremely pleased with their participation. Some of the comments included:
“It was an honor to be able to join with the other local organizations in Winters,” said Irene Goya-Tweedt of Winters Healthcare. “We look forward to an increased collaboration amongst the local nonprofit organizations.”
Linda Glick, co-president of the board of WFoL spent much of the day at the community library and reported, “What struck me was how much this library is used and appreciated and loved. I had people come up to me wanting to donate their pocket change because they couldn’t afford more. The library is ‘home’ to the high school students who hang there. The Interact students from Olivia Rodriguez’s service group were so awesome. Even the little ones, under school age, know the library. They have their favorite books and spots to sit. The library is a second home for them.”
Anita Ahuja, president of the Winters Theatre Company Board said, “I loved how the participating nonprofits in Winters collaborated on a banner and other marketing to get the word out about BigDOG and hope we can work together more extensively next year. A lot of preparation was involved.”
Putah Creek Council’s executive director, Carrie Shaw, said that the highlight for them was “participating in the Youth Day table with the other Winters BigDOG nonprofits and the Yolo Community Foundation event in Woodland.”
The Center for Land-Based Learning’s director of development, Christine McMorrow, said, “The highlight of the day was our event, the Urban Farm Takeover, in which we set up a food truck, fresh veggie stand and a live band at our new urban farm stand site in West Sacramento. We were thrilled that we had 100 percent board giving.”
Meg Stallard, president of the board of the Yolo Community Foundation, summarized by saying, “There were 20 more nonprofits in Yolo County participating this year, a good indication of the interest in the activity. It’s been suggested that next year we set a dollar amount goal for Yolo County. Lots of possibilities.”
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