It’s Give Miami Day. Give ’til it helps charities continue to do good works

Miami Herald Editorial Board

Thanks/giving always comes early in Miami-Dade.

Thursday is the Miami Foundation’s highly touted Give Miami Day, a clever and engaging online philanthropic event that for 24 hours encourages members of the community to take part in a fund-raising blitz for local charities.

Since first launched five years ago, this special day has caught on in a big way. Kudos to the Miami Foundation for nurturing the effort into the game-changing event that it’s become.

Here’s the beauty of Give Miami Day: Make a contribution to the charity of your choice, and the Miami Foundation and other donors will match a portion of every donation between $25 and $10,000 through a bonus pool.

How can you beat having your goodwill multiplied? Organizers say this is the most successful fund-raising day in Miami-Dade, where the effort has taken on the feel of a real movement.

Last year, more than 19,000 donors — you, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors — raised $9.1 million. All of it benefited 664 local nonprofit organizations. That was a record. But here’s the challenge: Let’s beat it this year, a feat that’s been achieved every year since the first event in 2012.

It’s an exciting day for small nonprofits, which can attract new donors and raise hefty sums for their projects. As the day approached, nearly 700 organizations signed up to be considered for double donations.

You might have received an email from a charity alerting you to Give Miami Day and the chance to help out in a significant way. You should consider making a donation on Thursday to double the bang.

To take part, visit givemiamiday.org. Either click on the charity of your choice or search through the database.

Among the groups that are participating are stalwart charities like the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Goodwill, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and Miami Herald Charities, which sponsors Wish Book, the annual program to help families during the holidays.

But also lesser known causes will benefit, too: accessibility and disability services, animal issues, arts, culture and humanities, civic engagement, crime prevention and legal services, education and youth development, environment and public spaces, faith-based organizations, food, agriculture and nutrition, and housing and affordability and science and technology.

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

When Give Miami Day began, the event raised $1.2 million. Last year, it raised almost 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. He’s right.

Once again, give thanks by giving to the organizations that are meeting this community’s challenges, and winning, for all of us.