When the clock struck midnight Thursday, the Community Foundation of Utah looked as if it had fallen just short of achieving its goal of raising $1 million to be shared by 464 organizations that signed up for the second annual Love Utah, Give Utah day.
The tally showed that 10,652 individual donors had given $955,122, which was still above last year’s $800,000.
But officials from the Community Foundation of Utah, which sponsored the event, said the final tally will push the total over the $1 million mark. As of Friday afternoon, they were able to update the total to $1,058,839, and they will take the next several weeks to continue adding further matching grants.
"Congratulations to Utah!," said Fraser Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation of Utah. "It’s astonishing when you see that 10,652 people came together to make such a difference in the future of our state. It was a tremendous amount of fun. What makes it so fun is that it is based on a very powerful word — "love." We love Utah and we love the organizations and schools that make our state such a great place. Celebrating that love together is a very powerful thing."
She said it was a 1,700 percent return-on-investment when looking at money put in versus money raised.
It was largely an online effort fueled by social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Donors who wished to contribute could pick from 198 small nonprofits, 117 medium nonprofits, 95 large nonprofits and 52 schools, colleges and universities.
Charities included arts groups, animal shelters, a student newspaper, radio stations, outdoor groups, environmental organizations, police groups, shelters, military support organizations, hospitals, disability advocacy groups and research organizations.
"It was a fantastic event," said Havilah Mills, development director for Save Our Canyons, which participated for the second year. "We love the concept of Utahns coming together for giving. As a recipient organization, this is a great way for us to get our name and mission out to the public that might otherwise not know about the work we’re doing to protect the Wasatch."
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