The OTHER November Giving Celebration: Give Miami Day

Nov 15, 2016

November equals Thanksgiving. But there’s another Thursday in November when people get together to celebrate giving... giving in the 305, specifically.

It's Give Miami Day. And it takes place this Thursday.

The 24-hour online fundraiser aims to get Miami residents to donate to local nonprofits. There's a catch, though -- a good one. For Thursday only, sponsors match a percentage of all contributions.

More than 600 organizations stand to benefit. WLRN is one of them, but they support everything from job creation to animal welfare to services for children and people with disabilities.

(To see a full list of beneficiaries or to make a donation, go to www.givemiamiday.org.)

The Miami Foundation organizes the event, which is now in its fifth year. Communications director Matthew Beatty says the goal is to create a philanthropic buzz.

"Generating all this energy on one day helps us capitalize on everyone across the community talking about one thing," he said. "That helps this message be carried much further and deeper" and encourage giving throughout the year.

In addition to online giving, there are bonus prizes for the nonprofits throughout the day. The organization that receives the 16,000th donation wins a bonus in honor of Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernández; the organization that gets donations from the most U.S. states wins the "Patriotic Prize" and a bonus.

And new this year is something organizers call “Match Minutes," where for one minute, at 7:10 a.m. and 3:05 p.m., Miami FC soccer club will match gifts 100 percent.

For those who are eager for offline philanthropy, starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, Give Miami Day meets the Miami Book Fair for a block party with poetry, games and food trucks.

Beatty says organizers think they can break the $7.1 million benchmark set last year.

"If it’s one thing that we do in Miami, it’s that we do anything big. And we love a good competition, even when the competition’s against ourselves," he said.