By JOSH COTTON
Last year, Warren Gives, the 12-hour online donation drive sponsored by the Community Foundation of Warren County, raised $121,194.
That amount was hit shortly after lunch in the 2014 edition of the event held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday.
The final amount was $188,502.
Warren definitely gave.
According to posts on the website, the drive hit $100,000 with 737 donations at 12:30 p.m.
An additional 158 people took advantage of the lunch hour, pushing the total to $113,375.
By 4:30 p.m., the total was up to $145,796 with the largest total transaction by one donor at $7,750.
With a $35,000 match from the Community Foundation of Warren County, Sara Sokolski Memorial Fund, DeFrees Family Memorial Fund, Northwest Savings Bank and the Betts Foundation, the total raised to go to a host of non-profit organizations throughout Warren County totaled $223,502.
Event Coordinator Mark King said that the growth this year was expected as many people were trying to figure out the process during last year’s event.
“This year, we saw many more organizations” worked proactively and he said they worked with the organizations to help promote their organization in ways that came at no cost.
“More people just really get it,” he said.
Event Coordinator Ines Nelson said that many organizations also took a step forward in providing support to donors throughout the day. She said that the website was also altered to be more user friendly, decreasing drastically the numbers of calls they received from donors throughout the day who were unsure about how to work the system.
In addition to an increase in funding raised, corresponding increases were also seen in the number of donations, up from 1,326 to 1,616, and the number of unique donors, from 610 to 683.
“The main reason for growth is the organization’s enthusiasm,” Nelson said. “I think they got it a lot more this year.”
Ten to 12 more entities were also involved in this year’s event, with a marked increase in the number of county fire departments participating.
King suggested that the $10,000 increase in match dollars also may have attributed to the growth. “That’s a lot of match dollars,” he said.
Nelson said that they “will continue to see the program grow exponentially as the match continues to grow.”