WHEELING - Before the start of Tuesday's Amazing Raise Ohio Valley giving event, Susie Nelson set a target of $200,000 for the area's nonprofit organizations that she would consider a success.
As the day drew to a close, 2,045 donors had given $357,063.98, which made Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley, ecstatic.
Beginning at midnight Tuesday and continuing for 24 hours, donors were able to pledge money to any of the 81 local nonprofit organizations and double those donations through matching funds. It is the first year the organizations have tried such a fundraising campaign.
Nelson said the drive was structured with prizes and incentives for those organizations to get the word out.
"A lot of them were working around strategies to get some of those and increase their donations," she said.
The Linsly School earned the Mountaineer Award for raising the most money as a West Virginia organization from 8-11 a.m. Tuesday, while the St. Clairsville Library Foundation won the Buckeye Award for doing the same in Ohio from 2-5 p.m. The library foundation also won an award for securing the first donation of the day.
The Marshall County Family Resource Network, meanwhile, earned an award for gaining the 100th donation of the day. Other award winners will be announced as soon as donations are finalized, Nelson said.
Nelson said the experience was a good one, and many are already discussing next year's drive, which she said is a strong possibility.
"With it being a success in the first year, that will work in its favor," she said, adding organizers will discuss various parts of the event, including the time of year in which it is held. "A lot of organizations have major fundraisers in the spring, so maybe it would be a better fall event."