COLUMBIA — In a year where truly anything is possible, the mid-Missouri community has given big.
The CoMoGives campaign, held each December by the Community Foundation of Central Missouri, helps raise money for non-profits within the community. Groups and individuals can donate to multiple organizations of their choosing.
The goal to raise $1 million was met on Dec. 22, with nine days left in the fundraiser. Executive Director John Baker said the goal was a big jump, and the pandemic made things uncertain.
“Last year, we collected almost $956,000 for the 2019 campaign” Baker said. “We weren't sure if the pandemic was going to make us stop way short of our goal, or if the pandemic might actually push us past the goal.”
And that’s exactly what happened.
The final week of the fundraiser is typically when the most donations are made. Roughly a third of the first million raised came on Giving Tuesday.
“Giving Tuesday was on December 1 and December 1 is the first day of the campaign” Baker said. “We ended up having a very large opening day.”
Roughly $340,000 was raised on Giving Tuesday, marking the single largest day the campaign has ever had. The previous mark was $185,000 on Dec. 30 of last year.
The new goal is $1.5 million by the end of the year. That is good news for the We Always Swing Jazz Series.
The Jazz Series is one of 142 nonprofits that greatly benefited from the fundraiser. The organization met their goal of $62,000 on Dec. 27.
Assistant Director Josh Chittum says the inability to have in-person events has hurt their ability to reach out to the community for donations.
“When we would have concerts, it would be a good time to in-person remind people or ask them,” Chittum said. “The loss of that in an in-person interaction is a bit of a bummer.”
The help comes at a time when many nonprofits desperately need support. For reference, over 75% of nonprofits in the Kansas City Area experienced financial burdens caused by the pandemic and economic turn down, according to a survey by Nonprofit Connect.
Chittum says the pandemic has pressed the nonprofit financially.
“Conservatively, we’ve missed out on $100,000,” Chittum said. “I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was fairly fairly devastating.”
Despite the hardships, Chittum says he's amazed by the way the community has stepped up.
"A rising tide raises all ships" Chittum said. "It really is about working together."
To donate to any of the participating nonprofits, visit the CoMoGives website.