Nonprofits hoping for funds via the Gates Foundation

Published 7:27 pm Friday, November 24, 2017

Giving Tuesday is fast approaching and local nonprofits stand to benefit.

It is part of an international campaign held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving to support charitable organizations. In the past year, there have been 1.64 million gifts given and $177 million raised online in 98 countries, according to the Giving Tuesday website.

As part of Giving Tuesday, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has agreed to partner with Facebook for a charitable giving campaign. The foundation will donate up to $2 million by matching funds donated to organizations across the United States. It is based on a first-come, first-served setup.

The Gates Foundation will match up to $50,000 per nonprofit or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button — but only until the $2 million runs out. Facebook fees for nonprofit donations are also waived that day.

Local nonprofits are working to earn some money through this matching campaign.

Lisa Woolard, executive director of the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children, said the organization decided to participate in this year’s Giving Tuesday because it has been challenged with raising more than $130,000 to match funds given through the Smart Start program. Woolard said there is about $50,000 more to go, and it’s this portion that is the biggest struggle to meet.

“We are trying new and different (for us, anyway) fundraising techniques,” Woolard explained.

She said the money raised will go toward literacy projects, including the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in the works and adding library locations for Reach Out and Read.

Another local organization that plans to participate is the Aurora Fossil Museum.

“For nearly 40 years, the museum’s mission to educate has been supported by corporations and people who make contributions or volunteer,” museum director Cynthia Crane said. “This year, we have partnered with Giving Tuesday in an effort to expand our reach in an effort to generate more opportunity for contributions and assistance.”

Crane said the Aurora Fossil Museum is an important part of Beaufort County tourism and the local economy. Recently, the museum met a goal of 17,000 visitors in 2017. In June, it reached another goal of welcoming visitors from all 50 states.

“Imagine the amount of education we could do with additional support,” Crane said.

In Hyde County, members of Octagon House Restoration Inc. are also asking for donations Tuesday.

The money OHRI raises will go toward the second phase of renovations on Engelhard’s Octagon House, one of only two eight-sided, antebellum structures left standing in the state.

“Other nonprofit organizations who have participated in this event in the past have stressed the importance of timely contributions, because the matching funds run out quickly,” stated Walter Baum, chairman of the OHRI Board of Directors, in a press release. “Our Raise Up the Octagon House campaign will certainly benefit from all funds raised, and to be able to have those funds matched is a golden opportunity for us.”

To donate through the Gates Foundation campaign, residents should visit a participating organization’s Facebook page to access the link to give. Funds will go quickly, so the closer donations are made to the 8 a.m. start time on Tuesday, the better.

For more information about Giving Tuesday, visit To learn more about the Gates Foundation campaign, visit