On December 12, 2012, almost 5,000 donors throughout Miami-Dade County and the world gave into our shared vision for a greater community. The inaugural Give Miami Day was a special “Miami Moment” where we stood up, rallied together and supported 300 nonprofit organizations doing the best work for our city. Across 24 hours, $1.2 million were raised with gifts ranging from $25 to more than $5,000. It was the most active day of philanthropic giving in South Florida history, and what’s better, from business professionals to college students, everyone got involved. For a community that studies have drawn as civically disengaged, Give Miami Day was convincing proof of our commitment to charity.
We advised our partner nonprofits to be specific when communicating what funds raised on the day would benefit. The result was citizens in a donating frenzy to buy new toe shoes for Miami City Ballet, support independent film screenings at O Cinema and provide new clothing for abused children through Neat Stuff, Inc. When we are clear where the dollars will go and the impact they will make, Miamians unlock their inner philanthropists to champion personal interests.
Charitable giving has to be about more than just tax benefits to be sustainable. Donors want to know that causes dear to them will be furthered because of their investment. It’s not enough to tout the importance of “giving back;” we in this sector have to make it meaningful and appealing for philanthropists to support our work.
Over the last 47 years, we have granted millions of dollars made possible by families, individuals and corporations who started their foundations with us. We have known this community wants to invest in our own future, but the citywide enthusiasm around Give Miami Day brought that fact into a new light. When we have unity of purpose behind our charitable gifts, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. Working together with your family, friends and colleagues can turn one donation into a collective effort that changes lives for the better.
Our Miami has always been philanthropic. The New Miami is about being philanthropic together, on one accord. We do not live in a vacuum and neither do the issues we face as a community. It will take all of us committing to support the important work nonprofits and social organizations do to carry Greater Miami forward.