Move over April Fools’, the first day of the month has been officially rebranded 401Gives in the Ocean State, and for good reason. Throughout yesterday, thousands of donors from Rhode Island and beyond came together to raise a total of $2,200,477 for local nonprofits during what’s become the state’s largest single day of giving. The generosity of the community helped the effort far surpass its $1.5 million goal.
In total, the funds raised are the result of 17,808 gifts made to 420 Rhode Island nonprofits in support of their work.
“Those of us in the nonprofit sector tend to be an optimistic bunch, but I’m not sure anyone anticipated how far beyond our goal we would end up … two-million dollars is really an incredible outpouring of support,” said Cortney Nicolato, United Way’s president and CEO. “There aren’t enough words to thank everyone who made this possible.”
401Gives made its first-ever appearance in 2020, raising $1.3 million just two weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic that continues today, and which has strained nonprofits as the need for their services grew. It was created by United Way of Rhode Island to lift up the state’s nonprofit community through a unified day driven by the power of philanthropy.
“Nonprofits are vital to the overall health and wellbeing of our communities,” said Michele Lederberg, United Way board chair and interim president and CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island. “They help to keep our neighbors safe, warm and fed, care for our grandparents, teach our children, shelter our pets, and so much more. To see so many people rally behind them demonstrates the meaning of power in numbers.”
Among the highlights of 401Gives were 184 organizations raising more than $3,000, including 107 that topped $5,000 and 55 that exceeded $10,000. The Alliance of RI Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) paced the day with receiving 369 gifts, while Foster Forward led the way in fundraising with $173,721.
401Gives is powered by United Way and was supported by some of the state’s leading businesses and organizations, such as Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI, FM Global, Rhode Island Foundation, Hope Global, Centerville Bank, Cox, National Grid, and others. The day was also recognized with a Gubernatorial Proclamation by Gov. Daniel J. McKee, marking April 1 in Rhode Island as 401Gives Day.