Alexandria in Action: Thank you for your generosity, Alexandria

Alexandria in Action: Thank you for your generosity, Alexandria

By John Porter

Alexandria, you are amazing. On April 20, more than 8,300 of you joined together to make around 12,000 donations to 153 deserving nonprofits serving the city.

When Spring2ACTion was a mere idea five years ago, we had no clue as to how it would be
received or how it might grow. But our fellow Alexandrians surprised us from those humble
beginnings in 2011, when Spring2ACTion raised $104,156 to a record-setting high of $1,337,493 this year — $60,600 over last year’s previous record.

It is quite an accomplishment and one of which our entire community should be extremely proud. And while understanding not all of the donors lived in Alexandria, all had an interest in helping others by supporting our wonderful nonprofits, which do such great work assisting others in our community.

This year also saw the addition of 39 new participating organizations, which raised $73,128 during the 24-hour period. First timers included the Alexandria Harmonizers, the T.C. Williams Stadium Initiative, Alexandria Rugby, Brave Spirits Theatre, and Del Ray Kinderchoir, to name a few.

In its second year, arts groups collaborated in Spring4ART and raised $107,000 for their important work in the community. Arts on the Horizon garnered the most donors with 250, followed closely behind by Upcycle Creative Reuse Center with 233. The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association raised the most funding of the arts groups with $16,056, and the Alexandria Harmonizers placing second with $12,920.

Breaking down the metrics a bit further yields some astounding information. For the 24-hour period of giving, the per second average donation was $15.48, which adds up to an average of $928.81 per minute — truly amazing. The average amount raised per nonprofit was $8,742, and the average donation per donor was $160.83, an increase of $25 over 2015.

The furthest donation this year was from Tasmania and was made to YoKid…Stretch Your Limits, a Del Ray based program providing yoga to kids. Just Neighbors, which provides legal services to immigrants, experienced a 918 percent increase in donations, going from $500 in 2015 to $5,091 this year. And for those involved since the beginning, The Parent Leadership Training Institute takes the prize this year for number of donors, increasing from one in 2011 to 50 in 2016 — a 4,900 percent increase.

This year also saw an increase in the number of schools, school programs and PTAs participating. The Mount Vernon Community School PTA laid claim to most donors with 220, while first-timer John Adams Elementary School PTA proudly had 65 donors. Other participating programs included Saint Rita School, Bishop Ireton High School, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, numerous friends groups of orchestras and bands as well as booster groups like the Titans Football Boosters and many others.

With the three-pronged goal of growing philanthropy, growing revenue and growing supporters, Spring2ACTion 2016 can proudly claim success for the participating nonprofits. In addition to raising funds, Spring2ACTion has allowed local nonprofits to educate community members about their cause, cultivate new donors, reinvigorate previous contributors, and utilize crowdfunding as the technological tool for the future.

The knowledge, skills and tactics utilized by those joining in on April 20 are valuable and useful throughout the year and provide yet another opportunity to demonstrate the unified, diverse and strong voice of Alexandria’s nonprofit community.

So, thank you Alexandria. Thank you for your support during Spring2ACTion and throughout the year. We have such a wonderful and caring community — one which is rich
in so many ways and one which is truly concerned about others.

From providing support to ALIVE! to continue assisting Alexandrians as they have since 1969, to Friends of Alexandria Archaeology to the Animal Welfare League to King Street Cats and the Alexandria Symphony, we have much of which to be proud. Your contributions are greatly appreciated but more importantly, your overall support is what makes Alexandria unique. We truly wouldn’t be the community we are without each of you.

As we conclude Spring2ACTion 2016, the planning for next year begins in earnest with hope for more awareness of the myriad of nonprofits doing great work in our city, more participating nonprofits, and more donations in order to have an even greater collective impact on our community. We invite you to help spread the word about Spring2ACTion and to continue to support the causes which are important to you throughout the year.

The writer is the president and CEO of ACT for Alexandria.