Center Stage Theatre and the Shelton High School robotics team received grand prize awards for their successful fund-raising during the Great Give, a 36-hour online charity drive by the Valley Community Foundation (VCF).
Through the Great Give, more than $192,000 will be distributed to 29 nonprofit organizations in the Valley towns of Shelton, Ansonia, Derby, Oxford and Seymour. The money was generated by donor support, matching grants and prizes.
The VCF is an affiliate of the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, which created the Great Give as a way to raise visibility and support for local nonprofits in the region.
Theater raised the most of all
Center Stage, a Shelton-based theater founded in 2005 that strives to provide affordable entertainment, won a $15,000 grand prize for the most money raised by a participating nonprofit in the overall Community Foundation for Greater New Haven event. The theater also won the $500 Midnight Snack Golden Ticket prize.
Two $2,000 grand prizes were awarded as well — to the Shelton High School robotics team for attracting the most number of Valley donors, and the Valley Independent Sentinel for attracting the most number of new Valley donors.
Valley donors were defined as individuals who live or work in one of the five Valley towns served by VCF. The Valley Independent Sentinel also won the 2004 Golden Ticket prize for receiving the 2004th gift, in honor of the year the VCF was founded.
Encouraging people to give
The VCF provided $25,000 in matching and prize funds to encourage giving by people who live or work in the Valley. These funds were further augmented by grants and prizes provided by VCF donor-advised funds.
Excluding prize money, nearly $60,000 from 654 donations came from donors who live or work in the Valley; those gifts will support 85 nonprofits participating in the Great Give.
“I am so pleased with the response to the 2014 Great Give,” Sharon Closius, VCF president and CEO, said at a gathering to celebrate the outcome of the community-wide giving event.
“To have Center Stage, one of our Valley-based nonprofits, win the $15,000 grand prize is wonderful,” Closius said.
The Valley results and winners from the Great Give were announced at an ice cream social on Thursday.
Top five nonprofits
The top five Valley nonprofits in order of highest amount of donations received from individual and donor-advised fund gifts were:
— Center Stage Theatre ($27,400).
— BHcare ($15,925).
— Boys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley ($14,083).
— Area Congregations Together/Spooner House ($10,315).
— TEAM Inc. ($7,750).
In addition to VCF grand prizes, two VCF donor-advised fund founders encouraged giving by providing grant prizes of their own.
The Bassett Family Fund provided Golden Ticket prizes of $500 to Seymour Pink for being the Valley-based nonprofit to get the most new donors on May 6, and $1,000 to the Father McKenna St. Vincent de Paul Shoppe for being the Valley-based nonprofit to get the most new donors on May 7.
Four additional Golden Ticket prizes were awarded to the following Valley nonprofits:
— Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut ($250 for the VCF Annual Meeting prize).
— Housatonic Council, Boy Scouts of America ($500 for the Rifkin Family Fund Home Stretch prize).
— Area Congregations Together ($500 for the Rifkin Family Fund Home Stretch prize).
— Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley ($500 for the Rifkin Family Fund Home Stretch prize).
The Ansonia Public Schools’ Human Relations Club won a $500 Early Bird prize for being one of the first five organizations of the event to raise $1,000.
Overall, more than $750,000 generated
The Great Give 2014 generated over $767,700 from more than 5,700 gifts that will benefit nonprofits serving the 20-town area served by the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, which includes the VCF’s five-town region.
To see a list of the participating nonprofits and prizes, visit www.thegreatgive.org.
Learn more about the Valley Community Foundation by contacting Sharon Closius at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-751-9162.