Record Giving Tuesday for CFNEM

News Photo by Jason Ogden Christine Hitch, marking and communications director for the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan, announces the results for the third annual Giving Tuesday collection by the group. She said this is the highest amount of donations collected for 51 area nonprofits in the organization’s three years hosting the program.

ALPENA — Residents in Northeast Michigan dug deep into their pockets Tuesday, giving $120,668 in donations to area nonprofits for Giving Tuesday.

The record amount was announced Friday by officials at the Community Foundation for Northeastern Michigan’s Giving Tuesday wrapup event in Alpena.

Marketing and Communications Director Christine Hitch said this was the largest total of donations collected since the organization began doing Giving Tuesday three years ago.

“Giving Tuesday really started as an opportunity (internationally) to give back for the holidays,” she said. “Christmas is so commercialized and you have all these shopping opportunities. You have a chance to give back and do some good with all that shopping. It really gives us an opportunity to do so much good after spending.”

On Tuesday the foundation’s website was set up to collect donations for 51 area nonprofit organizations during a 24-hour period. The public also had an opportunity to bring in donations in the form of a check or cash.

Hitch said one of the reasons for the collection drive through the foundation is it can help with marketing and getting the word out about the nonprofits. Also, the foundation, through endowments, can help invest donation money to gain investment revenues to help endowment funds grow, though she said nonprofit groups do not have to have investments through the foundation.

She said this year $52,520 of the donations where through the website, with the remaining $68,148 from walk-in donations. She said the single largest donation that came in was for $5,000.

Foundation Executive Director Patrick Heraghty said in the first year of Giving Tuesday organizers collected $31,000 in donation from 195 individual donors.

He said the second year had more than $51,000 from more than 495 donors. This year there were more than 700 individual donors, he said.

During the presentation the top donation recipients of the 51 nonprofit organizations involved were announced. This year’s top donations were given to the Northeast Michigan Women’s Giving Circle, which generated $9,750 through 35 donors. The second highest donations were given to the Besser Museum with donations totaling $8,830 from 33 donors. Third was Boys and Girls Club with donations totaling $8,413 with 35 donors.

The Friends of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary collected $8,135 and was the fourth highest donations with 41 donors. Fifth highest donations went to the Huron Humane Society with $7,392 and 44 donors.