Less than two hours to go for 401Gives

Weekend edition smashes fundraising record with over $3.2 million in donations so far.

By: - April 3, 2023 4:14 pm

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center’s mobile food pantry distributes food outside Donovan Manor housing complex in Newport. (Photo by Kathryn Whitney Lucey for the Dr. Martin Luther King Center)

Donations to the 545 nonprofit organizations participating in the 2023 weekend edition of 401Gives totaled over $3.2 million as of 4 p.m. That’s more money raised for more nonprofits than ever before. 

It was still short of the United Way of Rhode Island’s $4.01 million goal. But then, there were still two hours more to go.

“We have people that wait all year that tell us , ‘This is the time I want to give,’” said Alyson Novick, director of development for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport. “They say, ‘I want to do it publicly and show my support for the MLK Center.’”

The MLK Center celebrates its 101st anniversary this year and 401Gives certainly has helped get the party started. A couple donated $25,000 to the center, which used $20,000 as a dollar for dollar matching grant when giving began Friday, March 31, at 6 a.m. The center used the remaining $5,000 as leverage to help the center get more than 101 individual donors.

So far a total of 117 individual donors had given the MLK Center $67,558, putting them in the number five spot on the 401Gives leaderboard. The center will earmark the funds for hunger relief, including its daily breakfast program, free vegetable distribution and food pantry.

Novick said the MLK Center is on track to serve the equivalent of over 800,000 free meals this year, up from 657,000 last year.

“We tried really hard to have our communications be as robust and appreciated as they can be,” Novick said. “That helps. People are paying attention.”

The 401Gives leaderboard shows the top five nonprofits so far for 2023. (401Gives.org)

The top 401Gives fundraiser for the second year in a row is Foster Forward with $184,713 raised, followed by Audubon Society of Rhode Island at $127,728 and Children’s Friend at $89,473. The United Way Rhode Island ranked fourth with $84,907.

A  dollar for dollar $25,000 matching grant from the Rhode Island Foundation that started at 6 a.m. Friday was reached in about two minutes, the United Way of Rhode Island said.

Incentives continue all the way through the end of 401Gives. The last $1,500 in donations will be matched by Hope Global, which will donate a maximum of $50 per nonprofit for every online donor.

To make a donation, visit https://www.401gives.org/.


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Janine L. Weisman
Janine L. Weisman

Rhode Island Current Editor-in-Chief Janine L. Weisman served as a reporter and editor during her 25-year career in the newsroom of The Newport Daily News. She is an adjunct journalism faculty member at Roger Williams University.