Lowcountry Giving Day a triumph of compassion, generosity

By Bill Medich
Column in The Post and Courier, Charleston, SC

On any given day in the Lowcountry, someone makes a charitable gift. A check, an online donation, a bag of groceries, or just an hour or two of their time.
By itself, these gifts are appreciated but often perceived as unremarkable - after all, they happen every day. But on May 6, the first-ever Lowcountry Giving Day, that dynamic shifted and we saw the combined power of many small acts of philanthropy. As it turns out, the little things matter and when we add them all up, we can move mountains.
Facilitated by Coastal Community Foundation and scheduled to coincide with similar giving day challenges across the country, Lowcountry Giving Day combined three powerful forces to create a transformative philanthropic event.
First, it leveraged the generosity of incentivizing donors to create a pool of more than $1.3 million in matching funds. Second, it harnessed the power of social media to create excitement and spur donations.
Third, it channeled gifts through an online platform that made it easy to give and easy to see how much we as a community had donated together.
As a Coastal Community Foundation board member and, more importantly, as a resident of the Lowcountry, I was astounded by the result. On the morning of May 6, I watched as donations accumulated - $25 here, $250 there - and the grand total mounted.

Fueled by the generous incentive match and caught up in the excitement of real-time interaction via social media and the web, the community kept giving and giving. In all, more than 7,000 individual donations were made and more than $4 million was raised for 93 worthy causes.

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