LB Gives 2019

Long Beach Gives campaign director Nicolassa Galvez, left, co-founder Julie Meenan, center, and Camille Johnson at the 2019 kickoff event.

Raising $1 million for 150 charities in one day doesn't just happen in, well, one day.

Planning for the second annual Long Beach Gives has been underway for more than six months, and the newly designed website with individual pages for each participating nonprofit went live on the first of this month. Giving gets underway in earnest today, Thursday, Sept. 17, with early donations allowed, and a virtual kickoff party set for 4 p.m.

Last year, the first Long Beach Gives saw 93 nonprofits raise more than $822,000, according to campaign director Niko Galvez. This year, more than 150 groups have signed up, with representatives going through training and creating their own giving pages.

"Each nonprofit page tells a story, shares impact, and promotes a cause that is important to the community," said Julie Meenan, executive director of the Josephine Gumbiner Foundation and one of the Long Beach Gives founders. "We are also so happy to be able to partner again with the Kindness issue — a wonderful way for us to highlight these amazing organizations."

The Kindness magazine, in today's Grunion Gazette, spotlights some of the many people giving time and treasure to Long Beach. Long Beach Gives is part of the publication.

The website, longbeachgives.org, actually is a portal to pages where nonprofits can accept donations. Many of the pages include stories about the organization, the people involved and donation matching challenges.

This year, to help people find organizations they want to donate to or become involved with, there is a browsing feature putting nonprofits into 17 different categories. Topics range from Arts & Culture to Social Justice.

Many of the groups put a lot of information on their pages. For example, the Jewel Box Children's Theater Company, established in 2016, includes pictures, videos, a mission statement, testimonials and four individual fundraisers for the group.

Those individual fundraisers are key to nonprofits making their giving goals, Galvez said.  Many of the organizations also have created matching challenges for donors, often with money provided by board members. 

"We are so excited for the website and donations to be live, and for the community to rally around the hardworking nonprofits," said Michelle Byerly, executive director of The Nonprofit Partnership and another founder. "Through our work at TNP, we know nonprofits are feeling the uncertainty of the pandemic, and what the next year will hold. We would love Long Beach Gives to be a high point to 2020 for the community."

To get the week off to a good start, Long Beach Gives will host a launch party at 4 p.m. today, Thursday, at its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/longbeachgives. There will be presentations about the day and explanations about how to participate.

For more, go to longbeachgives.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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