By Heather Peeler
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life in Alexandria on so many levels. However, there is one beloved community activity that will continue this year – Spring2ACTion.
Spring2ACTion, Alexandria’s annual giving day, is a 24-hour online giving event that inspires individuals to make a difference in their community by connecting them to the local causes they’re passionate about on an easy-to-use giving platform. The online giving event will take place on April 15.
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Spring2ACTion, and it could not come at a better time. So many of the Alexandria community’s nonprofit organizations are in urgent need of donations. Nonprofits across the city are mobilizing to support the city’s hardest hit populations both now and in months to come.
These nonprofits provide emergency food and financial assistance, deliver meals to home-bound seniors and provide affordable medical care, housing and shelter to those who need it. They are depleting their reserves to purchase emergency food and supplies for their constituents.
Spring2ACTion allows donors to give to their favorite community organizations. The 160 participating nonprofits represent a wide variety of causes, including health and wellness, animal rescue, food and shelter, arts and music, schools and PTAs, children and families and more. The money raised during Spring2ACTion will continue to have an impact on the community in the coming year.
For example, the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, like many organizations, has had to change the way it operates in light of COVID-19. It has cancelled in-person adoption events and other programs. The shelter is raising money to provide emergency pet food to unemployed Alexandrians and ensure homeless animals have a safe place to stay with foster caregivers.
Arts on the Horizon engages children in theater. The nonprofit is launching its “Hope on the Horizon” fundraising campaign during Spring2ACTion with a goal of raising $20,000. The organization is seeking community support so that it can continue providing theater and arts education programs for young children in the months ahead.
Because Spring2ACTion uses the power of collective action, a gift of any size can make a big difference. Donations start at $5. In addition, many donors have offered challenge or matching grants, so each individual donation goes further. The CARES Act, the most recent federal relief package in response to COVID-19, also includes several incentives for charitable giving this year. Non-itemizers can deduct charitable donations of up to $300 on their federal taxes in 2020.
Giving is easy. Go to www.Spring2ACTion.org and select an organization. Early giving has already begun. If you’re not sure which organization to support, use the search button and select a cause ranging from arts, education, environment and more.
In past years, Spring2ACTion included opportunities for people to gather at celebratory events throughout the day. This year, in light of social distancing and shelter in place restrictions, all activities will be online.
At www.Spring2ACTion.org, go to the menu and select graphics for logos and icons that you can share on social media. Engage your family and friends in the region and beyond to take part in this celebration of giving back. Let them know you are part of one of the most successful online fundraising events in the country.
Alexandria’s businesses have always been there to support the community. This year, local businesses are involved in Spring2ACTion in big ways. Nine companies are teaming up to engage their employees and customers through the Spring2ACTion Business Fundraiser program. In addition, a section of the Spring2ACTion website will be devoted to the businesses that have implemented new initiatives to support vulnerable employees and community members. For details about businesses giving back, go to www.spring2action.org/info/businesses-give-back.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all donors during Spring2ACTion will have an opportunity to make an additional gift to the ACT Now COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund was established in partnership with the City of Alexandria to provide funding to nonprofit organizations providing emergency relief to Alexandrians negatively impacted by the pandemic. By participating in Spring2ACTion, you can help address the immediate needs of community members, while helping all nonprofit organizations stand on strong financial footing.
Alexandrians are known for their generosity. Last year, 9,816 individuals gave during Spring2ACTion, raising a record-breaking $2 million for 162 nonprofit organizations. ACT’s goal for 2020 is to engage 10,000 donors. Will you help them attain it?
The writer is president and chief executive officer of ACT for Alexandria.