By Melissa Quinn
ACT for Alexandria’s annual online philanthropic event, Spring2ACTion, raised a record amount of money last week — $659,951 for 97 local nonprofits in 24 hours.
“People certainly understand in the times we’re living, there’s more need out there for the nonprofits,” said John Porter, executive director of ACT for Alexandria. “People could help out from the comfort of their own homes.”
Alexandrians could officially start donating at midnight April 17, with fundraising efforts lasting until 11:59 p.m.
In addition to raising money for Alexandria nonprofits, a portion of donations went to The Boston Foundation in the wake of last week’s marathon bombings. Eight participating organizations — including ACT for Alexandria — gave 5 percent of the money raised to the Massachusetts group.
“I think it’s just an example of how we are all in this together,” Porter said. “Meaning we all in Alexandria are in this together, but this is an example of people wanting to do something and this is an opportunity [where] they could.”
Though ACT for Alexandria does not yet have the official amount, Porter estimates the daylong event raised about $8,000 for The Boston Foundation, which is offering assistance to bombing victims as well as first responders and their families.
“We were extremely pleased with the outcome,” he said. “We were just so pleased so many people will benefit from the generosity of people who contributed that day.”
Originally, ACT for Alexandria officials hoped to raise $500,000 — a little less than double the $319,000 donated last year. But the final tally far exceeded organizers’ expectations. More than 5,800 people gave money to the cause, which is a testament to the hard work put in by the nonprofits that participated, Porter said.
“It all comes down to — it’s not just us,” he said. “We provide the platform, we provide the training, but it’s the nonprofits that provide the legwork.”
Spring2ACTion saw more than 70 organizations participate last year, and this year welcomed about 30 newcomers. Though the donations raised during the event offer much-needed help to nonprofits, Porter said the demand never goes away.
“The needs have far exceeded the resources,” he said. “... [For] a number of people this has allowed organizations to increase their services, add a program they may not have been able to or provide more shelter for people who need food. The need is constant and growing too.”