GlitchNOLA Day? Annual Online Nonprofit Fundraiser Takes A $1.5M+ Hit


NEW ORLEANS – It was supposed to be a 24-hour online giving event to inspire people to give generously to regional nonprofit organizations. Instead, GiveNOLA Day, hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), experienced technical problems which caused the main website to crash for about 10 hours Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

         Last year, GiveNOLA Day raised $4 million dollars from more than 34,000 donations around the nation.

         Yesterday, $2,450,026 was raised from 21,743 donations.

         “On behalf of the Greater New Orleans Foundation board and staff, we want to express a sincere apology for the technology failure we experienced on GiveNOLA Day,” GNOF reps said in a statement. “We’re very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused as you were trying to support your favorite nonprofits. We are so grateful for your generosity and your perseverance.”

         “The GiveNOLA Day website was sporadically down for approximately ten hours within the 24-hour campaign,” the statement said. “Kimbia, the Austin-based technology partner for Give Local America, said the reason the site crashed on giving day sites across the United States was the overwhelming volume of external sites pointing to and hitting their databases. A total of 54 community foundations nationwide experienced technical difficulties that severely disrupted the ability of tens of thousands of donors to make contributions.”

         GNOF reps are asking participating nonprofits to return pledge forms that were collected by hand or by email to the Greater New Orleans Foundation by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6, 2016. The intent of these pledge forms is to enable nonprofit organizations to record pledges that would otherwise have been made on the website, reps said.

         Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on May 3 was to be increased with additional “lagniappe” dollars provided by GNOF and multiple GiveNOLA Day sponsors. Because of the website interruption, GNOF reps are asking participating nonprofits that directed donors to give through their individual websites to email to request a reporting form so those donations can still be considered eligible for the Lagniappe Fund.

         Nonprofits were also eligible to receive other prizes and awards during the course on the 1-day fundraising event. GNOF reps said, “At present, we expect to grant awards as initially planned, but please be patient as we still have data to collect – first, second, third, fourth and fifth place for small and large organizations that most unique dollars and most dollars raised. The eight nonprofits that won Rock Around the Clock giveaways before the site crashed will be honored. The remainder will be randomly selected at a later date. All nonprofits are eligible. The first round of Throw Me Something Hour awards will be honored. The remaining $12,000 will be added to the Lagniappe Fund.”

         GNOF reps said the online security for those who donated yesterday was never at risk.

         “Please be assured that we have ruled out any security issues,” GNOF reps said in a statement. “There has been no security breach and all transactions continue to be securely processed. If you didn’t get a message confirming your donation, then please call the Greater New Orleans Foundation at (504) 598-4663. We are working as fast to possible to respond to calls and emails. If you were directed to give to a nonprofit’s own website, we’ll be working with these organizations to make sure your donation is counted.”

         Built on successful models from other cities, GiveNOLA Day raises money for the community, brings new donors and awareness to local nonprofits and helps make the region a more vibrant place to live, GNOF reps said.

         GiveNOLA Day is tied to a national event called Give Local America where community foundations across America ask their communities to give back on May 3.

         Within the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 13-parish region, 713 nonprofits were participating in GiveNOLA Day. The participating nonprofits work on a broad range of issues including Arts & Culture, Animal, Community Improvement, Education, Environment, Health, Housing, Human Services, Public Safety and Crime Prevention and Youth Development.

         Since their founding in 1983, GNOF, one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region, has grown from $4 million in assets to more than $300 million in assets under management today. GNOF reps said the Foundation has played a key role in the region’s recovery, coordinating donor efforts and rallying support following the disasters that have affected the area, including Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Coast oil spill.

         Today, GNOF manages more than 700 funds devoted to charitable, environmental, cultural and economic development purposes.

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