LBG Salvation Army

Nonprofit Partnership trainer Christina Kreachbaum, left, Melinda Lankford of the Salvation Army and Julie Meenan, Josephine Gumbiner Foundation, put up a Long Beach Gives banner.

Long Beach Gives — a lot.

When the 24 hours of giving ended at midnight Thursday, Sept. 24, the amount donated to the 154 nonprofits participating topped $1.7 million. That's $700,000 more than the $1 million goal, and more than double the $822,000 raised last year.

"It's going wonderfully well," Niko Galvez, campaign manager for Long Beach Gives, said about halfway through the giving day. "It's just so great seeing the nonprofits cheering each other on — to see how we're creating community."

This was the second annual Long Beach Gives event. It is an online joint fundraiser, put together under a working committee that includes Julie Meenan, executive director of the Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation, who conceived the event, and Michelle Byerly, executive director of The Nonprofit Partnership. Long Beach Gives operated under the Partnership's organization.

"What an amazing show of support for the Long Beach Nonprofits!," Byerly wrote Thursday in an email. "The community of Long Beach rallied around the hard working nonprofits and volunteers and we raised over $1 million.

"Not only did we raise much needed funds in a critical time for nonprofits, we raised awareness of the impact these nonprofit have in the community. This year we had the overwhelming support of community leaders, foundations, and businesses — and we can only grow from here."

Long Beach Gives set up an umbrella website, where each nonprofit had its own donor page. Some groups offered matching funds for donations, others had drawings or exclusive activities.

While the focus was on the 24 hours Sept. 24, donations were accepted beginning Sept. 17. That allowed the event to start the day with nearly $800,000 already on the board.

Much of that money came through peer-to-peer accounts on each page. Board members and supporters set up areas where they solicited donations from their own circle of associates.

As of 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 25, the tally was $1,710,732. Byerly said the amount may change slightly as accounts are closed.

She also said there will be a Long Beach Gives III in 2021.

"Nonprofits need our support to continue the ever important work for our community," she said. "Long Beach answered the call — we are so blown away by the show of support by our community."

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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