Pittsburgh Organizations Make Their Own Matches For City's Day Of Giving

May 3, 2016

This year, the Pittsburgh Foundation will offer $100,000 in prize money to organizations participating in the annual Day of Giving, rather than matching donations like it has in the past.
Credit Nick Amoscato / Flickr

About 800 organizations are asking for donations Tuesday as part of Pittsburgh’s annual Day of Giving.

Now in its seventh year, the day-long call to altruism traditionally included as much as $750,000 in match money from the Pittsburgh Foundation.

But with so many organizations now involved, as the foundation told the Pittsburgh City Paper, that money is stretched too thin.

Katherina Rosqueta, founding executive director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy, said offering match money is a huge social motivator.

“It’s effective," Rosqueta said. "It’s a neat mechanism for those organizations to more efficiently bring in funds for their effort.”

Rosqueta said the cost of fundraising for small organizations can be extremely high, making matching funds even more valuable. 

Kelly Uranker, director of the Center for Philanthropy at the Pittsburgh Foundation, said about 20 percent of this year's participants raised a combined $2.3 million ahead of the Day of Giving that they're using as match money to incentivize donors.

“It is a fairly common practice now that organizations raise money to attract new money, especially in the world of online giving,” Uranker said. 

Pittsburgh’s day of giving runs from 8 a.m. Tuesday until midnight Wednesday. 

The Pittsburgh Foundation will be offering $100,000 in prize money for organizations that meet certain fundraising goals, such as most small donations and best use of social media.

90.5 WESA and its sister station 91.3 WYEP are among the nonprofits seeking donations during Pittsburgh's Day of Giving.