Early giving is open and the leaderboard is currently tallying donations for the 8th annual East Texas Giving Day at www.easttexasgivingday.org. Although the actual 18-hour online fundraising event supporting local nonprofits is held on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, it’s not too early to give, or plan how you want to give. To get the full value of this article, you might want to sit down at your computer or have your smartphone open to easttexasgivingday.org while reading this column. I think you will find the tools and resources explained in this article both informative and inspirational.

East Texas Communities Foundation has hosted East Texas Giving Day, an annual online fundraising event for local nonprofits, since 2016, successfully raising over $10.9 million for local charities. The event is online, so it is very resilient to the volatility of weather and other uncertainties. The event takes place online at EastTexasGivingDay.org from 6 am to midnight on April 25th. Donors can select the specific charities they want to support and the specific amounts of their contributions to each organization in one simple online transaction. Leaderboards actively track the dollars raised and the number of contributions made for each participating charity throughout the day. The goal is to raise annual support for local charities and build awareness of their amazing work in our East Texas Communities.

There are 350 nonprofit organizations from across ETCF’s 32-county service area participating this year, and easttexasgivingday.org is a great online resource for you to learn more about the work of these important local charities. Each participating charity has prepared a page of information about the mission of their organization, including a description of any critical needs they are currently experiencing. In addition, there is a direct link to their website and contact information if you have additional questions. The website easttexasgvingday.org allows you to search by the name of a charity or by using various filters such as the counties served, the category of charitable work performed, and the availability of matching funds. With over 5,000 charities in East Texas, it is hard to know which organizations are serving your community, but the easttexasgivingday.org website can help you focus on organizations and services that are important to you. 

Celebration Pages are a great option if you have a passion to support one of the 350 charities participating in East Texas Giving Day this year. Celebration Pages are a tool offered through the easttexagivingday.org website which allows you to set a personal campaign goal for your favorite charity. To set up a Celebration Page, simply follow the instructions under “How to Create a Celebration Page” at the top of the home page at easttexasgivingday.org.

Celebration Pages allow you to encourage others to support your favorite charity by sharing your personal story about how you have been impacted by the organization. When you have your Celebration Page completed, you will be provided with a web address that you can share with your friends via email or social media. The link will take your friends directly to your Celebration Page to read your story and encourage support for your campaign. All contributions toward your personal Celebration Page goal will count toward the total for your chosen charity. Even if you don’t want to create a Celebration Page, you can browse through the pages that have been created and learn more about the personal impact of local charities.

Finally, if you are competitive or want to focus your social influence on a specific goal, you should review the list of prizes available for charities on East Texas Giving Day. The list of prizes can be found under the “Prizes” tab on the leaderboard page at easttexasgivingday.org. Throughout East Texas Giving Day on April 25th, there are various incentive prizes for such accomplishments as attracting the greatest number of new donors or raising the most money during a particular time period. You can harness your efforts and encourage your friends to actively pursue a specific prize to support your favorite charity. Your efforts will pay off with valuable support for your favorite charity, whether or not you are successful at winning the prize.  Get online now at easttexasgivingday.org to learn more about local charities, set up a personal Celebration Page, plan your prize-winning strategy, or make a gift, or two, or three…may be your next best opportunity to give well.