NONPROFITS PLAY important roles in everyone’s communities, offering services from caring for animals and supplying food to the hungry, to fighting human trafficking and providing education. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) gave people and other organizations the opportunity to help Tennessee nonprofit organizations by hosting The Big Payback this spring, raising nearly $4 million —$3,957,365 — for Middle Tennessee organizations, schools, and religious institutions.
The Big Payback, an online 24-hour giving event established to increase philanthropy in Middle Tennessee’s 40 counties, occurred on May 4-5, lasting from 6 p.m. one day to 6 p.m. the next day. The event was organized by Nashville-based CFMT, a nonprofit that serves to promote and facilitate giving, in Middle Tennessee and beyond. This is the organization’s ninth year hosting The Big Payback event.
A total of 881 organizations benefited from the online giving event as 25,755 donations were made, including two organizations from Lincoln County: the Humane Society of Lincoln County and Patches Place Cat Rescue. The Humane Society, an animal shelter, had 13 donors that gave a total of $1,577. Patches Place Cat Rescue — an organization that cares for stray or abandoned cats and kittens until they are adopted — received $471 from 10 donors.
According to CFMT’s news release, this year about 1,000 Middle Tennessee nonprofits from 36 counties opted to take part in the donation event, including 79 nonprofits that were participating for the first time. There were many giving categories for donors, including human services, health, animal welfare, education, youth development, community improvement, arts and culture, housing and shelter, and the environment.
The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee received the most donations, obtaining $110,064 from 983 donors. The organization was followed by: Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, $107,249 from 857 unique donations; Wags and Walks, $90,115 from 666 unique donations; Global Sanctuary for Elephants, $87,824 from 837 unique donations; and Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee $87,165 from 385 unique donations.
“Kindness and generosity are two words that come to mind when I reflect on the last 24 hours,” Michael McDaniel, CFMT senior nonprofit liaison and this year’s The Big Payback coordinator, said in a release. “On behalf of the participating nonprofits and those they serve, we’re grateful to donors for making a vital investment to all of the participating nonprofits supporting the many needs in our communities. Good things happen as a result.”
Additional financial prizes from sponsors of The Big Payback, boosted the public’s gifts to nonprofits. An online leaderboard tracked donations both online and on digital billboards throughout the area, in real time.
The incentive prize pool totaled about $245,000 this year. Sponsors included Kharis Foundation, The Jane and Richard Eskind and Family Foundation, HCA Healthcare Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Kraft CPAs, Lipman, Sir Speedy BNA, Jerry and Ernie Williams, and Susan and Luke Simons.
In nine years of organizing The Big Payback, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has raised more than $29 million in gifts to nonprofits, from 206,338 cumulative donations.
To view the complete list of 2022 nonprofit giving totals and prizewinners, visit www.thebigpayback.org. GN