PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — In what’s become the state’s largest single day of giving, generous donors helped the United Way of Rhode Island’s 401Gives effort far surpass its goal of $1.5 million Thursday.
Thousands of donors from Rhode Island and beyond came together to raise a total of $2,200,477 for local nonprofits, according to a news release.
In total, 17,808 gifts were made to support the work of 420 Rhode Island organizations.
“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 … $2 million is really an incredible outpouring of support,” said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of RI. “There aren’t enough words to thank everyone who made this possible.”
401Gives began in 2020, raising $1.3 million just two weeks into the pandemic, which has strained nonprofits as the need for their services grew.
“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.”
On Thursday, 184 organizations raised more than $3,000 each, including 107 that topped $5,000 and 55 that exceeded $10,000.
According to the United Way, the Alliance of RI Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE) received 369 gifts, and Foster Forward led the way in fundraising with $173,721.
Donations can still be made through April 3 at 401Gives.org.