Miami-Dade County

South Florida charities gear up for Thursday’s Give Miami Day 2015

In 2014: Audrey Parfait, center, dances during the Give Miami Day to spotlight its fundraising campaign for Arts Education at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
In 2014: Audrey Parfait, center, dances during the Give Miami Day to spotlight its fundraising campaign for Arts Education at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Miami Herald File

The war room will be set up at Marlins Park.

Volunteers for The Miami Foundation will set up a line of phones and laptops, and on Thursday, Nov. 19, they’ll staff their posts for 24 hours, fielding calls for Give Miami Day 2015. Volunteers for South Florida’s largest annual giving event will direct donors to GiveMiamiDay.org, where philanthropists can give to more than 600 charities.

For every donation between $25 and $10,000, The Miami Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and partners will contribute a bonus gift. Last year, more than 19,000 donors participated, said Matthew Beatty, director of communications for The Miami Foundation.

“That has trended up year over year,” he said.

Also climbing is the number of nonprofits involved in the charity event. In 2014, there were 520 nonprofit participants. This year, there are more than 600, all searchable by name and issue on a new nonprofit database.

Miami landmarks such as the Miami Tower, 600 Brickell, Carnival Tower at Arsht Center, Yve Hotel on 146 Biscayne and the InterContinental Miami will light up purple on Thursday to celebrate Give Miami Day, Beatty said.

Families looking to take part in the festivities can join the volunteers from 5 to 8 p.m in Marlins Park for a community block party. Visitors can watch the band Suenalo — which Beatty called “the sound of Miami” — perform, eat from a variety of food and drink trucks and stop by more than 40 nonprofit exhibits.

“People can come and interact with the organizations they’re supporting,” Beatty said.

Charities bring in big bucks on Give Miami Day, topping $5.2 million for 520 charities in 2014. One of the largest single donations — $25,000 — went to Children’s Movement, a statewide advocacy group focused on early childhood issues such as expanding children’s healthcare and offering free parenting resources.

“[Donors] are inspired to give children a real voice, which is what our organization seeks to do,” said Vance Aloupis, statewide director and soon-to-be CEO of the group.

The $157,000 Children’s Movement raised on Give Miami Day last year represents 15 percent of the group’s total revenue, but Aloupis said the organization prefers to focus on the total number of donors instead. In 2014 they nabbed 537, and 2015 could top 600 donors.

“It’s an important moment for each individual nonprofit participating,” Aloupis said. “It’s a remarkable reflection of the generosity of this community and what each of us stands for.”

“We are blessed to be a part of this.”

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