(Houma) Despite a nation-wide technology failure that shut down online giving for ten hours, 54 nonprofit organizations in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes raised $52,629 as part of the 24-hour GiveNOLA Day for the Bayou Region online giving event in May. This surpasses this year’s goal of $50,000 as well as last year’s donation total of $39,233 for Bayou Region nonprofits.
In Lafourche, 30 nonprofits received a total of $41,240 in gifts and in Terrebonne, 24 nonprofits received $11,389 in gifts during the 24-hour GiveNOLA Day online giving event hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) on Tuesday, May 3.
The 54 local organizations will also share in $15,500 from the Al Danos, Jr. Memorial Lagniappe Fund created by the Bayou Community Foundation (BCF) to provide participating nonprofits with “a little something extra” to support their GiveNOLA Day efforts. Thanks to local donor support, BCF raised $13,500 in private gifts for the Danos Lagniappe Fund, and an additional $2,000 was raised at the two “Give Bayou Bashes” sponsored by Spahr’s Seafood in Houma and Thibodaux on May 3.
“We are so appreciative of local donors for hanging in there on May 3 and supporting our Bayou Region nonprofits even as the technology failure made online giving a huge challenge. This determination and the ability of our local nonprofits to adapt to this unexpected development helped our Bayou Region meet our goal of $50,000 in gifts as part of GiveNOLA Day,” said BCF Chairman Stephen Peltier.
“Thanks also to the amazing donors who contributed to the Al Danos, Jr. Memorial Lagnaippe Fund, and to Spahr’s Seafood and local residents who supported our nonprofits at the Give Bayou Bashes on May 3. This truly demonstrates the overwhelming generosity and caring spirit of our Lafourche and Terrebonne communities,” Peltier added.
In addition to online donations and shares in the Lagniappe Fund, two local organizations were selected randomly for GiveNOLA Day giveaway prizes. Geaux Create Family Art Center of Lockport and South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center in Houma each won a $1,000 prize.
Throughout the New Orleans metro area, 713 participating organizations raised $4 million on the 3rd Annual GiveNOLA Day, a little less than the $4.5 million goal for 2016, but similar to the amount raised in 2015.
“The fact that we came so close to the goal under such extraordinary circumstances is a testament to the generosity and perseverance of the local giving community,” said Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of GNOF.
New Orleans and the Bayou Region were not alone in experiencing online giving technology glitches on May 3. A total of 54 communities across the country, all part of a Give Local America campaign, experienced similar challenges. According to Kimbia, the Austin-based technology company that hosted the platform for the nationwide day of giving, the glitch was partly the result of an overwhelming volume of external sites pointing to and hitting their databases.
In response to the technology glitches, GNOF established a phone bank on May 3 for donations, issued a paper pledge form to all nonprofits to share with their donors, and hired a team of temporary workers to call donors who had made pledges.