Get ready to GiveBig!

— Created April 27, 2022 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Today is the last day nonprofit organizations can register to participate in GiveBig, a statewide online fundraising campaign culminating in a two-day giving event May 3-4. There are already 30 Island County nonprofits registered in the campaign, of which Whidbey Weekly is a media sponsor.

Last year GiveBig brought in more than $17 million through nearly 72,000 donations. While the GiveBig event focuses on two days next week, contributions can actually be made all year long.

“Participating organizations stay in the system and pay an annual participation fee to be on the platform and re-register each year for GiveBig,” Nancy Long, executive director for 501 Commons, the organization that oversees Washington Gives and GiveBig Washington, told Whidbey Weekly in an interview before last year’s fundraiser.

“We went to a year-round platform because it is more consistent,” she continued. “A lot of donations come in at the end. People focus on giving days, culmination days, and that is when the vast majority of donations come in. But it’s nice to have this buffer time, when organizations can start fundraising early, get donations from board members and staff. Then when the day comes, they are already set up and they look successful. That sets them up for greater success.”

According to Long, participating organizations are given access to training opportunities to help them make the most of the GiveBig fundraising effort. This training can help established nonprofits hone their fundraising skills and also help those organizations new to the platform figure out how to get started.

In Island County, there are a variety of organizations participating in GiveBig, such as Coupeville Farm to School, Oak Harbor Main Street Association, Island Shakespeare Festival, Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Senior Services of Island County, to name just a few. Some, like Coupeville Farm to School and Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra, have secured matches for donations up to a certain amount, to help increase their funding even more.

Anyone who might want to make a donation but isn’t sure which local organization they should give to can visit the website, search for participating Island County nonprofits, and read more detailed information about each of them.

Success is truly a matter of individuals joining forces to make a difference. A little can go a long way, according to Long.

“I think the main thing I want people to know is that they don’t have to be big donors to make a difference,” said Long. “By everybody gathering together, finding causes they care about, organizations they value and that match their interests, they can give at whatever level they can.”

GiveBig was started in 2011 by the Seattle Foundation. In 2018, it transferred to 501 Commons, which currently oversees the event. Visit to learn more.

Give Big 2022
Participating Island County Nonprofits

Coupeville Farm to School
Flower Feline Sanctuary
Friends of Ebey’s
Giraffe Heroes Project
Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift Stores
Habitat for Humanity of Island County
Island Shakespeare Festival
Meerkerk Gardens
Oak Harbor Main Street Association
Old Dog Haven
Orca Network
Organic Farm School
Pacific Northwest Art School
Senior Services of Island County
Sound Water Stewards
South Whidbey Historical Society
South Whidbey Homeless Coalition
The HUB Youth Central
The Whidbey Institute
Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation
Whidbey Camano Land Trust
Whidbey Community Foundation
Whidbey Island Center for the Arts
Whidbey Island Nourishes
Whidbey Island Orchestra
Whidbey Island Waldorf School
Whidbey Watershed Steward
Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra
Whidbey Health Foundation