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Elk Grove Citizen

Big Day of Giving Big Deal

May 23, 2024 01:49PM ● By Susan Maxwell Skinner, photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner

Carmichael Library will benefit from the recent Big Day of Giving. Giving a thumbs up for almost $98,000 in donations to Friends of the Sacramento Public Library are Sacramento Library staffer Catlin Greenwood, left, and Carmichael Library Friends Barbara Safford, Margot Howard and Sydney Sadler. 

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Local nonprofit organizations were big winners in the May 7 Big Day of Giving. Many achieved support that surpassed their hopes.

Choreographed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, the 24-hour give-a-thon this year helped 826 organizations and raised record donations. Gifts totaled more than $13.25 million. Since the 2013 inception of this annual appeal, public philanthropy has helped Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado and Placer County charities to the tune of $100 million.

Administered by the American River Natural History Association, Effie Yeaw Nature Center is funded solely by public support. Big Day of Giving boosted donations by $65,000.

“We had matching funds from two of our strongest supporters,” said staffer Kalee Christensen. “It was an exciting day for us watching our computers and seeing funds come in. They’ll help us enormously.”

Carmichael Kiwanis Club members rejoiced at $12,500 in donations. 

Carmichael Library Friends gained a share of almost $98,000 donated to Sacramento Public Library’s Friends organization. Summer reading programs and a scheme that gives free books to hundreds of Carmichael children will be funded.

“We’re so grateful for community generosity,” said local Friends President Barbara Safford. “The lifetimes of many wonderful children will be enriched by reading.”

Carmichael Kiwanis raised $12,500. Its bottom line also benefited from a $500 booster prize for most donations between 5 and 6 a.m. A random prize from Big Day of Giving organizers brought in another $100.

“I’m always impressed by the generosity of our club members and our community,” said Kiwanian Mike Koerner. “We’re all about helping kids. These donations go a long way toward that aim.”

Carmichael Parks Foundation gained almost $20,000 to boost park beautification and youth programs. This total includes gifts from the Borman family, community benefactor Susan Marszal and former Supervisor Susan Peters.

Current Supervisor Rich Desmond included the Parks Foundation among 24 Big Day of Giving donations. His choices included Carmichael Kiwanis, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Fair Oaks Rotary, Carmichael HART and the San Juan Education Foundation. “I dedicate District 3 discretionary funds, as well as my personal funds,” he said. “I chose organizations that help our most vulnerable residents, care for animals, promote arts and culture, and generally improve quality of life.”

Boosted by Desmond’s donation and a further $20,000 in gifts, Sacramento Fine Arts Center exceeded Big Day of Giving hopes.

“These donations are vital to keeping the center and our programs going,” said Sacramento Fine Arts Center executive Angelia Gordon. “We’re grateful for so much generosity.”

Nature protecters opened wallets wide across the region. Placer Land Trust’s appeal yielded nearly $194,000. The American River Conservancy was enriched by more than $34,000. The American River Parkway Foundation and Save the American River Association gained $21,048 and $18,395 respectively.  Soil Born Farms, a Rancho Cordova enterprise that promotes sustainable food production, harvested almost $21,000.

May 7 also restocked food closets. Donors fed Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services more than $255,000; Sacramento Loaves and Fishes more than $165,000; Yolo Food Bank almost $146,000. Locally, Fair Oaks/Orangevale Food Bank gained more than $33,000. Carmichael’s Homeless Assistance Resources Team was boosted by almost $5,000.

Top regional beneficiaries included Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera with more than $327,000 to sing about. The Salvation Army drummed up more than $322,000; Sacramento SPCA scooped $221,705; ACC Senior Services got $204,957.

Culture was handsomely applauded. B Street Theatre (The Sophia) raised nearly $104,000. The Crocker Art Museum collected more than $92,570. CapRadio beamed in around $94,000. Stage patrons backed Fair Oaks Theater Festival to the tune of $10,000.

In North Highlands, California Aerospace Museum was refueled with more than $26,000.

“Sending kids to programs for hands-on STEM learning would not be possible for some families without this generosity,” said museum director Karen Jones. “Almost 86 per cent of our summer campers are on scholarships. These are largely enabled by BDOG.”

Youth charities compelled grown-up generosity. Sacramento Children’s Home collected more than $176,500. Shriners Hospitals brought in $82,677. Kiwanis Family House banked $73,500-plus. Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento supporters gave more than $59,000.

“Big Day of Giving allows the community to learn about nonprofits,” explained Sacramento Region Community Foundation officer Kelly Siefkin. “Participating organizations also love to build relationships with new donors. This year, we lowered the gift minimum to $10. This made philanthropy more accessible. “

Perhaps $10 doesn’t seem much. But small donations make a huge difference. With average gifts still under $50, they added up to $13.2 million.”

The next Big Day of Giving is scheduled for May 1, 2025. For more details, visit

Footnote: This report reflects BDOG leaderboards. Some May 7 donations are not recorded by this source.