The final donation numbers for last weeks’ giveBIG fundraising event for local and regional non-profits turned out to be a big success, breaking the previous records with nearly $440,000 raised from a combination of almost 2,000 unique individual or corporate donors.

According to the United way, which now handles all aspects of the St. Croix Valley giveBIG event, the final numbers are still being tallied from last week, and it appears that record were set, in spite of their being just a handful more organizations seeking donations.

“The amount the organizations are raising is growing, for sure,” stated United way executive director Lisa Murphy, who also spearheads the giveBIG effort.

The window for donations began on April 1 and ran until the ‘giveBIG Day,’ Tuesday, April 27, when the bulk of the donations came in. Murphy said there were 87 organizations that were giveBIG recipients, up from 82 last year.

Locally, the numbers of Baldwin-area donors and organization was still being final-ized, but Murphy was impressed by the final numbers and especially the creative efforts many of the groups used to remind people of their fund drives.

“We do our part to promote, but the real success comes from the organizations themselves, and how they do their own outreach,” Murphy said. 

There were also a number of regional and county-based groups or efforts that were recipients, including the Western Wisconsin Health Foundation at the Bald-win Area Medical Center. The donations from giveBIG have a special goal this year, focusing on the youngest local residents, specifically with their birth center.

The donations from giveBIG will allow the BAM birth center to purchase gel warmers, birth hammocks and nursing gowns for comfort and safety, as well as to purchase a specialized iPad for Zoom calls, educational offerings and additional communication programs for new or expecting mothers and families. 

GiveBIG teams and organizations were also part of targeted fundraising efforts involving unique donors, with contests and awards that also proved successful for local groups. 

“I was really impressed with all the ways organizations got their supporters involved,” Murphy said. 

Final, overall donation numbers were still being tabulated at press time, as many of the grants and donations were also received after the April 27 date, but applied to the giveBIG event. Donations were accepted until May 5, some of which were still arriving by mail. 

The giveBIG event is in its fifth year under the umbrella of the St. Croix Valley United Way, and Murphy sees the event growing even further down the road. 

“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback for the event,” Murphy said. “Our plan for next year is to get even more outreach and work with more local businesses, as well as social media. Our hope is to really build on our presence!”

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