NH Gives provides fundraising boost

Margaret Nelson

Margaret Nelson COURTESY PHOTO


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript 

Published: 06-06-2024 12:01 PM

According to Kathleen Reardon, CEO of the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, said this year’s upcoming NH Gives event is the largest so far, with nearly 650 New Hampshire nonprofits participating in the fundraiser.

The online event begins at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, and runs through 5 p.m. on June 12. Donors can give online through a secure website at nhgives.org

“One of the things I love most about NH Gives is that it provides a platform for all kinds of organizations, including smaller and volunteer-run organizations. Many of them don’t have their own online fundraising platforms, and NH Gives enables them to do that,” Reardon said. 

According to Reardon, NH Gives saw steady growth until the pandemic in 2020, when the lockdown unexpectedly put many nonprofit organizations in crisis.

“A lot of organizations suddenly had challenges with their revenue streams; all the events had to be canceled. So many organizations were just in a dire situation during the pandemic,” Reardon said. “Fortunately, we were able to work closely with foundations to get site-wide matches and support the event, and that really elevated NH Gives. Granite Staters responded, because people understood how dire the situation was, and that was the first time we went over $3 million.”

In 2023, 15,319 people gave a total of approximately $3.55 million to 610 separate New Hampshire nonprofits. Since 2016, the NH Gives annual event has raised more than $15 million for more than 1,000 New Hampshire nonprofit organizations.  

Reardon noted that donors interested in helping certain causes as well as specific organizations can use the NH Gives website to search organizations by cause, such as food insecurity, animal welfare and rescue organizations, veteran support, the arts, programming for children and others. Donors can also search for organizations by town. 

Margaret Nelson, executive director of The River Center: A Family and Community Resource Center in Peterborough, said NH Gives has been invaluable to the organization’s fundraising efforts. 

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“New Hampshire Gives is a wonderful platform for our state’s nonprofits to raise awareness of what they do. NH Gives allows people to learn more about other nonprofits they might not have known about. I love the fact that you can search by town and educate yourself on who is out there doing what,” Nelson said. “I feel like it’s a very helpful way for donors to identify nonprofits they might not be familiar with and who are doing the type of work they would like to support.” 

Nelson said the event is unique because it is a statewide effort. 

“There is so much energy and excitement and momentum around NH Gives. It really draws people’s attention and helps us get the word out there. It has really helped us, not only in meeting our fundraising goals, but in expanding our reach, and letting more people know what we do,”  Nelson said. 

The Grapevine Family & Community Resource Center in Antrim builds excitement for NH Gives with its Blindfolded Boat Race. Two-person teams compete, with the paddler in front blindfolded and the team member in the back shouting directions. This year’s race is 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 10, at Norway Pond in Hancock. Melissa Gallagher, executive director of The Grapevine, said nearly 30 teams have registered for this year’s race. 

“We invite everyone to enter a boat and join in the fun – whether you’re a business or an organization, or a family, it’s great way to bring everyone together,” Gallagher said. “We have a lot of teens taking part. People wear costumes, and we have a ton of spectators. It is just a really great way to get people energized and to let them know we’re taking part in NH Gives again.”

Gallagher said that NH Gives is The Grapevine’s banner fundraiser, and that the organization relies on NH Gives funds to support programming. 

“We would like people to know that while we just received major funding for a building project, none of those funds can be used to support our programming, as they are strictly for construction,  so NH Gives is still vital to our mission,” Gallagher said. 

Lauren Judd, executive director of the Cornucopia Project in Peterborough, said NH Gives is essential to the organization’s annual fundraising goals. 

“NH Gives allows the Cornucopia Project to further our mission of planting seeds for a lifetime of healthy eating through garden, kitchen and farm education. Contributions will directly support our hands-on educational programs, empowering youth in our community with essential knowledge and skills for a healthier, more-sustainable future. We invite everyone to join us and support our cause,” Judd said. 

For information about NH Gives, go to nhgives.org. Information about some participants is on Pages 12 and 13.