Record-breaking $12 million raised through Big Day of Giving

Incredible display of generosity for local nonprofits demonstrated by donors in the Sacramento region

May 8, 2020

During yesterday’s Big Day of Giving, nonprofits in the Sacramento region raised nearly $12 million, exceeding the $8.4 million raised last year and bringing the total generated since the inception of this annual giving day to nearly $52 million. Nearly 33,000 donors gave more than 65,000 gifts as part of the community-wide effort, all 40 percent increases over 2019 totals.

“Yesterday, the Sacramento region declared without reservation that philanthropy is resilient, that nothing can touch our giving spirit,” said Linda Beech Cutler, Chief Executive Officer of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, which has organized the day-long online giving challenge since its beginning in 2013.

“Amid a global pandemic that has caused so much uncertainty and hardship, tens of thousands of generous people in our community rallied behind the organizations that make our region healthier, stronger, and more vibrant. They sent a clear message that the work of nonprofits matters. This is an incredible tribute to the power of generosity.”

Learn more about the Foundation's philanthropy initiative

She noted that, as in years past, most of the donations made through the Big Day of Giving website yesterday were under $50. Further, many area donors supplemented their donations with gifts of their time; more than 1,500 donors pledged over 68,500 volunteer hours to area nonprofits.

In all, nonprofits in the capital area generated $11,965,225* on May 7, and each of the 615 participating nonprofits received donations. The organizations that topped the leaderboard represent a diversity of nonprofit sectors—food and nutrition, human services, the environment, animal services, and the arts. The five organizations that received the most donations are:

  • Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services 
  • The Salvation Army 
  • Yolo Food Bank
  • Placer Land Trust 
  • Sacramento SPCA 

Gifts made during Big Day of Giving 2020 will fund diverse causes throughout the region. For example, they will ensure the Pamela Trokanski Dance Theatre—which recently lost a major funder due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic—can continue providing its Davis exercise and movement classes for seniors, people living with Parkinson's, and their caregivers.

“Our fundraising goal this year was $3,000, lowered from the $10,000 we usually aim for, because we know people are experiencing real financial hardships. Yesterday, we raised $10,950 — more than our organization has ever raised on Big Day,” said Michele Tobias, Vice President of its Board of Directors. “As the donations came in, seeing all the names of people showing up for us was incredible. This year was hard for my team, and I’m floored by the generosity of our community.”

Along with helping nonprofits raise much-needed funds, the Foundation offers a robust training program to build the capacity of participating nonprofits in areas such as donor engagement, board development, collaboration, marketing outreach, and storytelling prior to Big Day of Giving. Helping area nonprofits build skills like these is a key goal of the Foundation’s initiative to strengthen the nonprofit sector, Expanding Philanthropy and the Social Economy.

“Since Sacramento Splash started participating, the Big Day of Giving trainings and collaborative opportunities have been critical in advancing our work," said Mackenzie Wieser, Chief Executive Officer of Sacramento Splash, which raised $108,641 on May 7 to fund its hands-on outdoor education programs. At the start of the day, its goal had been $70,000. “We are so grateful the community came out in full force yesterday. The day exceeded all our expectations and now we will be able to bring over 500 students through our program on fully paid scholarships that are donor funded."

In addition to Big Day of Giving donations raised off the website—which organizations had until noon today to add to their totals—many participating nonprofits raised pools of match funds to motivate day-of gifts. This year, organizations raised over $2 million in matching funds.

Big Day of Giving was made possible with lead sponsorship by Western Health Advantage, in addition to the generosity of its other community partners.

To learn more about Big Day of Giving, please visit, and follow it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Additionally, nonprofits and their supporters in the Sacramento region should mark their calendars for next year’s Big Day of Giving on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

Register to be alerted to give during Big Day of Giving 2021

*Final numbers subject to verification due to credit card reconciliation and match allocations.



By focusing on the root causes of local challenges, seeking solutions with long-term results, and supporting the organizations that tend to the vital needs of the capital area, we help create the conditions for meaningful transformation in the Sacramento region. 

Learn MORe