Long Beach Gives Helps Nonprofits Get Funded
By Dianne Anderson
Not yet five years old, and Long Beach Gives has already raised over $6.6 million and is ready to roll on this year’s goals to get more money into the hands of nonprofits that serve the city.
Fundraising success is attributed to big-hearted givers, along with an easy shopping cart platform that lets donors decide which nonprofits they want to support.
Matt Guardabascio with Long Beach Gives people can give a little or give a lot to one or several nonprofits in one easy transaction.
He said most donors already know how to buy items online, but the unique fundraising platform means that everyone can make an impact together, all at the same time.
“We’re really excited, it’s our fifth year. We want it to be the biggest year we’ve had, this is what we do to raise awareness and raise money. It’s been incredible, $6.6 million in four years. It’s a lot of freaking money and support,” he said.
The application opened on March 13 for 501(c)3 nonprofits serving the Long Beach community to apply. The deadline is Sunday, April 30 at 11:59 p.m.
But applying is also as simple as creating a profile, along with Tax Identification and W-2 verification to show the nonprofit has active status. For newer organizations, additional information is required about the type of nonprofit programming. For existing participating organizations, it’s an easy update.
Guardabascio said their participating nonprofits keep coming back for more, but not just for the money. They get all they need by way of capacity building through Long Beach Gives’ fiscal sponsor, The Nonprofit Partnership [TNP], which offers free and in-depth training.
“One thing I love is our minimum donation of $5,” he said. “If you are contributing any amount during Long Beach Gives, you are part of this citywide impact that is going to be raising up to – or over, $1 million.”
Last year, they had about 250 nonprofits participating on the platform, ready to receive donations. He expects about the same this year.
And, it is worth it.
“The sky’s the limit,” he said. “We had two organizations raise over $100,000, but the average is less than that. It’s as much as you put into it is what you get out of it from what I’ve seen.”
Since COVID, he said a lot of trainings are offered online. This year they are moving to à la carte style with smaller bite-size videos presented by trainers and actual experts. That approach was in response to their nonprofit participant survey last year on how nonprofits want less overwhelming content, and more accessible to help them grow.
“Because of the nature of what TNP does, we get some of the best trainers in the area, state or country, out here providing training sessions for free for these participating organizations,” he said.
To qualify, nonprofits must provide services in the city of Long Beach, and must be established for two years.
“The thought process is that it takes about two years to hone the deliverable piece,” he said. “We have organizations that are located outside Long Beach, but as long as they are serving in the city, they are eligible to participate. It’s free and we don’t charge to participate.”
The amount of funding raised shows how much the city appreciates and supports its nonprofits.
During 2020-21, there was also a great outpouring of support with community giving $5 to $20, which saw record numbers of donations. This past year, they have had fewer donations, but he said each donation is for a higher amount, a trend that a lot of nonprofits are seeing lately.
“We believe in the work that’s being done and we support the work being done. To see it all in place is incredible,” he said.
Mayor Rex Richardson, in a statement, is also calling the community to action in support.
“Over the past four years, Long Beach Gives has allowed the people of Long Beach to make a collective impact across the city,” said Mayor Richardson. “This September, in our fifth year, we can make a meaningful difference by working together and uplifting people in every community
For more information visit www.longbeachgives.org
More information on eligibility, participant requirements, the selection process, and the online application can be found at https://www.longbeachgives.org/content/application/