Miami-Dade County

Will we beat last year’s $9.1 million record? Give Miami Day is counting on it.

Iaan Barnett Jr., 2, plays "Putt Putt Your Suggested Gift" with his dad Iaan Barnette Sr. during the Give Miami Day block party at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami on Nov. 17, 2016. This year’s Give Miami Day will be Thursday Nov. 16, 2017, to Friday Nov. 17, 2017.
Iaan Barnett Jr., 2, plays "Putt Putt Your Suggested Gift" with his dad Iaan Barnette Sr. during the Give Miami Day block party at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami on Nov. 17, 2016. This year’s Give Miami Day will be Thursday Nov. 16, 2017, to Friday Nov. 17, 2017. Miami Herald file photo

CodeArt, a nonprofit that teaches girls how to code computers, has a lofty goal for its first time participating in the Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day — the annual 24-hour, fund-raising blitz for local charities.

The small nonprofit that was established in January 2016 hopes to generate 120 new donors and raise $15,000 to help the organization pay for computer science classes and weekly clubs.

“This is the best way for a small nonprofit to fundraise,” said Amy Renshaw, co-founder and executive director of the organization. “Getting 120 donors is super ambitious for us.”

Nearly 700 organizations are gearing up for what organizers say is the most successful fund-raising day in Miami-Dade County. Among the groups that are participating: Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Miami Herald Charities, which sponsors Wish Book, the annual program to help families in and around the holidays.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and continuing through midnight, people can go online, select their favorite charity and donate. The Miami Foundation, Knight Foundation and other sponsors have established a bonus pool that will add matching funds to donations between $25 and $10,000.

“We are constantly doing fundraisers, but this is the biggest,” said Christine Llano, Miami-Dade police’s social media specialist.

Last year, 668 organizations raised a record $9.1 million through more than 29,000 donations.

“This has become bigger than anyone could have imagined,” said Matthew Beatty, Miami Foundation’s director of communications.

When Give Miami Day started in 2012, the event raised $1.2 million. In five years, it’s grown nearly 10 times that amount.

“That type of exponential growth is really reflective of the community and how it has taken ownership of the day,” Beatty said.

In addition to the online campaign, there are several events tied to Give Miami Day, including free admission to the Coral Gables Museum all day.

This year there are about 100 first-time participants, including Grameen America, The Embrace Girls Foundation and Boxer Friends.

Organizations like FANM, Haitian Women of Miami, say they count on the money raised during Give Miami Day to offset cuts by local governments.

“It is vital for us to raise unrestricted funds,” said Marleine Bastien, FANM’s executive director. “It’s also a good way to raise awareness of community-based organizations.”

Marilyn Brummitt, development director for the Miami Rescue Mission, said the money raised helps them keep programs going, including the Cover Girls, a mentoring program for women who’ve gone through domestic violence or homelessness.

“This is our community’s way of focusing on our own backyard,” she said.

To Donate

What: The Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day

When: 12:01 a.m. Thursday through midnight.

How: Visit givemiamiday.org and either click on the charity of your choice or search through the database. Donations between $25 and $10,000 qualify for a percentage of the bonus pool.

Social media: @MiamiFoundation on Twitter and Instagram and #givemiamiday.

For information: givemiamiday.org.

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