Alison Bailin Batz
Tony Blei

This month, every single resident in Ahwatukee Foothills and beyond (this means you!) is being asked to do one simple thing — give.

Why?

“On March 20, all Arizonans will be asked to participate in the first-ever Arizona Gives Day,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, who helped to develop the initiative in partnership with the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and a team of statewide leaders.

Beginning at midnight on March 20 and continuing until 11:59 p.m., Arizonans can go online at www.AZGives.org to support a local nonprofit in their community, or pledge their financial support to one of the hundreds of participating nonprofits across the state. A day dedicated to communities that care, Arizona Gives Day, presented by First Bank, will focus on giving back to the organizations whose invaluable efforts have helped empower communities and provide services, products and more to those in need.

The Gives Day movement began in Minnesota four years ago as a way to increase individual giving and help nonprofits raise awareness about their cause. Each year since, these initiatives have seen increased success and have helped countless organizations continue to provide the services and programs their communities need. Today, Gives Days are becoming increasingly more popular, leading many other states like Colorado, Georgia, Alabama and now Arizona to expand the “flash-mob type” movement into their own states. Organizers of the Arizona Gives Day hope to see the same successful response during the 24-hour statewide online giving initiative on March 20.

“For as little as $10, nonprofits in Arizona can and do make a difference,” said McWhortor. “Together, we hope to raise more than $2 million on this single day.”

According to Marissa Theisen, president and CEO of Arizona Grantmakers Forum, donations made on Arizona Gives Day will help the state’s nonprofits: rally volunteers, change lives, build leaders, develop networks, fight for rights, create scholarships, and champion critical community causes.

“During the recent economic downtimes in Arizona and beyond, individual giving has declined. This is our chance to bring it back in a big way,” said Theisen.

Nonprofit participation

Among the 500-plus nonprofits participating in this event are several from around Ahwatukee — as well as many that service the community — including: Alport Syndrome Foundation, Linus Foundation, Arizona Bridge to Independent Living, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, Alzheimer’s Association Desert Southwest Chapter, America Lung Association Arizona Chapter, Arizona Autism United, Arizona Humane Society, Association of Arizona Food Banks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona, Ear Candy Charity, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Girl Scouts Arizona – Cactus-Pine Council, Goodwill of Central Arizona, Make A Wish Arizona, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, Mothers’ Awareness on School-Aged Kids, and Habitat for Humanity.

How to participate

Businesses, schools and communities are encouraged to rally friends, family, classmates and co-workers leading up to the big day. Donors can learn more about the nonprofits participating in their community by logging on to the www.AZGives.org. Then help spread the word by joining the movement on Facebook and Twitter.

Giving is as easy is 1-2-3:

1. On March 20, visit www.AZGives.org

2. Click on “Donate”

3. Choose your nonprofit of choice and give away

Whether you give a little or give a lot, every donation will help the more than 20,000 deserving organizations statewide.

“And for those of us out there who want to give but need to be reminded, the website has a simple ‘Remind Me’ button anyone can click on right now,” said McWhortor.

For more information, visit www.AZGives.org.

• Alison Bailin Batz is a local freelancer, public relations practitioner and member of the Arizona Gives Day promotional team.

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