By ARDEN BASTIA It's no April Fool's joke: the 401Gives event on April 1 raised $2.2 million for 420 Rhode Island nonprofit organizations. More than 17,800 donors gave to local groups, like the Warwick Center for the Arts, Mentor Rhode Island, and the
It’s no April Fool’s joke: the 401Gives event on April 1 raised $2.2 million for 420 Rhode Island nonprofit organizations.
More than 17,800 donors gave to local groups, like the Warwick Center for the Arts, Mentor Rhode Island, and the Gamm Theatre. ”Those of us in the nonprofit sector tend to be an optimistic bunch, but I’m not sure anyone anticipated how far beyond our goal we would end up…two million dollars is really an incredible outpouring of support,” said United Way’s president and CEO Cortney Nicolato in a press release. “There aren’t enough words to thank everyone who made this possible.”
“It was quite a day, not only for the Gamm Theatre, but for the entire state,” said Amy Gravell, managing director, in an interview on Friday. “We were hopeful we could match what we did the year before.”
The Gamm Theatre raised $19,355 during the 401Gives event on April 1.
Gravell also mentioned that a donor noticed the theatre was just under $20,000 and offered another donation to push the theatre over its goal.
“That kind of money will go a long way for us, especially in our education programs,” Gravell said. “I think the message is so heartening to us. The community supported the Gamm and in turn, the Gamm is able to support the community. And that’s what it’s all about.”
Gravell reflected on the “inspiring community spirit” shown throughout the state, and looks forward to putting on more educational programming with the funds raised.
In an interview on Monday, Jo-Ann Schofield, president and CEO of Mentor Rhode Island, said she was “so grateful” to participate. Mentor RI raised $6,180, including a matching donation from the Rhode Island Foundation for $775.
“We’re grateful for the donors who were nice enough to wake up at 6 a.m. to get us a matching gift from the Rhode Island Foundation,” she said. “When you look at the leader board and see the amount of money some of these organizations were able to raise, it’s amazing. It’s exciting as people are really stepping up and contributing to the nonprofit community.”
Schofield said the funds raised would continue to support and expand mentor services.
The Warwick Center for the Arts raised just under $2,000 during last week’s event. Director Danielle Salisbury says the center will continue to promote its many programs with the funds.
“I have had quite a few families ask me if we could provide scholarships for their children to attend our art classes and camps, so one of my goals is to be able to provide financial assistance for them through the donated funds,” Salisbury wrote in an email. “We would also like to be able to compensate our teaching artists with a salary that is more inline with current standards.”
Last year, 401Gives raised $1.3 million for 355 organizations.