Miami-Dade County

Give Miami Day nets $3.3 million; Greater Jewish Federation gets the most donations

It took e-mail blasts, social media posts and a lot of hard work, but The Miami Foundation’s second Give Miami Day held Wednesday netted about $3.3 million for more than 400 local charities.

The 24-hour campaign — meant to encourage people to donate to local charities — raised more than double last year’s figure of $1.2 million.

“I think we are just scratching the surface on what we can do,” said Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto said Thursday. “Yesterday was a very special Miami moment.”

The Miami Foundation had encouraged online contributions from $25 and more. This year there were more than 12,200 individual gifts that will benefit the local charities. People could go online and select which charity to donate to or split their donation among charities.

“We have a lot of strong non-profits in Miami that serve the people who are most in need,” said Soto, adding they rely on donations from the community. “This is a call to action.”

The Miami Foundation offered to contribute matching gifts of $25 to $10,000 on a percentage basis with money donated from several foundations including the Knight Foundation, the Hector Family Fund, the Miami Marlins Community Foundation and the Miami Heat Charitable Fund.

So, if Charity A received 2 percent of all Give Miami Day donations, the foundation promised the charity 2 percent of its match pool -- which was over $300,000. All gifts were made online via debit or credit card.

Last year, in Give Miami Day’s inaugural effort, nearly 5,000 people from across the world donated to about 300 nonprofits in Miami-Dade in individual donations also ranging from $25 to $10,000.

This year donations came from places including Australia and South Korea and the highest individual donation was $50,000 to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, which raised the most money.

“We were able to shine a light nationally and globally of the generosity of Miamians,” said Soto.

The Greater Miami Jewish Federation raised $207,362, significantly higher than the other charities.

“We just love the concept,” said Jacob Solomon, CEO of the federation. “Any community wide collaboration that brings attention to responsible philanthropy is great for Miami.”

Miami Herald Charities participated in the effort, with contributions going to the annual Wish Book campaign to help needy, ailing and disabled families in South Florida. It raised about $4,000.

Miami Herald staff writers Jane Wooldridge and Evan S. Benn contributed to this report.