225GIVES raised $1.28M. But why was the total down this year?

More than 4,500 donors pledged $1.28 million through 225GIVES, an annual fundraising event for Capital Region nonprofits that culminated in a 24-hour giving event May 4, the Capital Area United Way announced today.

That’s down from $2.25 million last year and $2.7 million in 2020, the event’s first year. Philanthropy consultant Beverly Brooks Thompson says the decline is likely due to moving the event from the fall to the spring, not any change in the giving environment.

Ashley Montagnino with Capital Area United Way, which presents the event, notes that many organizations hold major fundraisers this time of year, which may have impacted their messaging. But the decision to move from November followed participant feedback that the holidays were a tough messaging time for nonprofits to solicit donations.

CAUW officials will meet and review the latest feedback to decide whether they will move the date again, she says.

“We found most of the nonprofits that were successful used peer-to-peer fundraising and 225GIVES campaign as their annual campaign focus,” Montagnino notes by email. “They focused on messaging key donors during Early Giving and day of 225Gives.”

The event benefited more than 200 nonprofits supporting various causes including animal welfare, arts and culture, community improvement, education, the environment, health, human services, religious causes, social advocacy and youth development.

“We are able to give them a platform to spread awareness and training/resources to replicate in their overall individual strategy,” Melanie Henderson, director of community engagement at Capital Area United Way, says in a prepared statement. “We are not only helping them raise funds, but we are also helping them build internal capacity.”

This story originally appeared in a May 18 issue of Daily Report. To keep up with Baton Rouge business and politics, subscribe to the free Daily Report e-newsletter here.