WATERTOWN — More than 300 individuals, families and businesses, and a Northern New York Community Foundation matching grant, helped the 2021 #giveNNY campaign reach a record $42,298 to support nonprofits in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
A diverse group of 61 organizations joined a month-long campaign that encouraged nonprofits to work together in ways that transcend fundraising. The number of participants was more than twice the previous collaboration in 2019 and the most since the #giveNNY movement began five years ago. From arts and culture to the environment, health and wellness, recreation, history, animal welfare, youth leadership, human services, education, and essential needs, participating organizations dedicated to strengthening the quality of nearly every aspect of life in the region were represented.
Conducting the campaign with COVID-19 protocols in place presented new challenges that quickly became opportunities as technology brought agencies closer together in more efficient and creative ways.
Nonprofits from as far away as Massena and Ogdensburg joined the effort for the first time as travel became a worry of the past for many across the sprawling North Country. Nonprofit leaders attended weekly online sessions to learn and share best practices in marketing, event planning, social media, donor relations, fundraising, and more.
Community-based cohorts of nonprofits that share similar missions or serve overlapping areas quickly emerged as new partners. In St. Lawrence County, a group of arts-related organizations dedicated to enriching the vibrancy of the North Country used social media to educate communities about their vital work to diversify culture in the region. In Clayton and communities along the St. Lawrence River, a cadre of eight nonprofits successfully brought together 32 businesses and dozens of individuals to support the campaign through a collaborative fundraiser.
The campaign culminated on March 15 — 315Day — with a full day of radio broadcast on Tunes 92.5/104.5 FM, featuring interviews that spotlighted the work and missions of participating nonprofits that strengthen quality of life across the region. Media partner NBC Watertown livestreamed the event on its website. Media across the region overwhelmingly supported the campaign, with all major television, radio, online, print, and outdoor advertising outlets contributing to the effort through local storytelling, promotion, advertising, and airtime.
Thanks to the generosity of so many who love Northern New York, the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations was on full display to inspire philanthropy and celebrate generous acts.
“The success of this year’s effort is much more about the solidarity of nonprofits than the actual dollars raised. This was not just an effort for our region’s nonprofits, but one in which they actively participated for the greater good,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “That is something our community and donors should celebrate. We are continuing to explore ways to make this even more impactful in the years to come.”
For a second year, the Community Foundation matched all campaign gifts up to $10,000. Participating nonprofit organizations will receive an equal share of gifts to the campaign as grants from the Northern New York Community Foundation, awarded in the coming weeks. All gifts and 100 percent of the matching grant will be distributed. The Community Foundation itself receives no portion of the total raised.
“This is what happens when a community comes together for good,” said Jennifer Hodge, development director and corporate compliance officer for the Volunteer Transportation Center. Mrs. Hodge, who has led the grassroots movement to unite and aid local nonprofits since its first year, added that she is “amazed at how participating nonprofits stepped up to embody the vision of #giveNNY to spark collaboration, raise awareness, and inspire philanthropy.”
“If we all pitch in and give a little, everyone wins,” she said. “I am humbled by the number of donors across our communities who made this campaign a success. This is a big victory for our tri-county area.”
The results of this year’s campaign provide exceptional momentum for an even more successful event next year, she added.
The following nonprofits are participated in this year’s campaign:
ACR Health; Carthage Area Hospital Foundation; Chapin Living Waters Foundation; Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center Foundation; Clayton Opera House — TIPAF; Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County; Constable Hall Association; Credo Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions; Disabled Persons Action Organization; Family Counseling Services of NNY; Frederic Remington Art Museum; Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways; Gwen’s Food Pantry; Hearts for Youth; Henderson Harbor Water Sports Programs; Indian River Lakes Conservancy; Ives Hill Retirement Community; Jefferson County Historical Society; Jefferson County SPCA; JRC Foundation; Lyme Heritage Center; Massena Free Community Meal; Massena Meals on Wheels; New Day Children’s Center; New Hope Transformation House Ministries — Grace House; New York FFA Leadership Foundation; North Country Arts Council; North Country Children’s Museum; North Country Family Health Center; North Country Prenatal/Perinatal Council; Northern Regional Center for Independent Living; Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club; Ogdensburg Command Performances; Orchestra of Northern New York; PIVOT — Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council of Jefferson County; Planned Parenthood of the North Country NY; Police Activities League of Massena; Potsdam Holiday Fund Resolution Center of Jefferson & Lewis Counties; Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library; Samaritan Medical Center Foundation; Save The River; Sci-Tech Center of Northern New York; Society of the United Helpers; St. Lawrence County Arts Council; St. Lawrence County Historical Association; Thousand Islands Area Habitat for Humanity; Thousand Islands Arts Center; Thousand Islands Land Trust; Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust; United Way of Northern New York; UP! Coalition of Lewis County — Mountain View Prevention
Services; Victims Assistance Center of Jefferson County; Volunteer Transportation Center; Wanakena Historical Association; Watertown Family YMCA; Watertown Lyric Theater; Watertown Urban Mission; Wilderness Health Care Foundation; WPBS-TV; and Zoo New York.