SALT LAKE CITY — Any way they count it, the second-annual Love UT Give UT online giving campaign smashed last year's marks, raising more than $1 million for some 460 nonprofit organizations and schools statewide.
More than 10,500 unique donors contributed a total of $1,058,839 during the 24-hour effort, though the final figure may be larger because some participants received contributions outside the online giving effort. The campaign was conducted between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
The campaign, led by the Community Foundation of Utah, achieved a return on investment that topped 1,200 percent. Fraser Nelson, the foundation’s executive director, said the group spent some $80,000 on the daylong giving effort.
“It’s a pretty awesome use of $80,000,” she said.
Taking part in Love UT Give UT not only raises revenue for nonprofit organizations, it raises awareness about the wide array of organizations that serve communities and the state, Nelson said.
The campaign also helps participating nonprofit organizations up their game with social networking, which included tweeting about contributions or directing Web traffic to their websites or Facebook pages.
Once again, animal charities fared well, but the Sharing Place, a grief support group for children and their families, and the Girl Scouts of Utah, received contributions from the largest numbers of donors.
Grants are awarded to organizations that receive the greatest number of contributors. The nonprofits are grouped into small, medium and large categories. There is a separate category for schools.
Love UT Give UT is aptly named, Nelson said.
"It really is what this event is about. It's about loving Utah and giving to Utah, giving where you live. It's so great to have such a diverse group of organizations participating from all over the state, every kind of organization you can imagine," she said.
"It just speaks to the diversity of people who live in our state and to the heroes and heroines who are dedicated to educating our kids, taking care of us, cleaning our environment and all those things those organizations represent."
On Friday, the staff of the Community Foundation was continuing to tally contributions and assess the campaign, Nelson said.
"Donations are still coming in, which is interesting. It's also wonderful to just be basking in the fact that there is so much concern for the health and well-being for the organizations that make our state so strong," she said. "For nonprofits, this is a day they feel a lot of support and love, and that is just great. That's what the Community Foundation is here for, and it's great to deliver on our mission."
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Summary of grant winners (by organization, number of donors, amounts given)
Utah FACES (Friends for Animal Care and Effective Solutions), 292, $10,910
Plan B Theater Co., 250, $6,513
Noble Horse Sanctuary, 218, $11,995
The Sharing Place, 474, $13,910
Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah, 320, $12,373
Wasatch Community Gardens, 286, $8,428
Girl Scouts of Utah, 370, $7,660
Humane Society of Utah, 359, $14,291
Turn Community Services, 349, $8,075
Salt Lake Arts Academy, 311, $14,045
Ogden School Foundation, 234, $5,505
Westminster College, 220, $6,830