BIGDOG2016: Tribulations to Triumph

Most people in the Sacramento area are familiar with the 24-hour giving drive dedicated to making money for area nonprofits known as the Big Day of Giving (BIGDOG). This year’s drive was hosted on May 3 through Give Local America.  Although I’ve participated in BIGDOG in previous years as a donor, this was my first time participating as a benefiting nonprofit. I had no idea how much preparation was needed for just one day! From developing an 8-week work plan to creating a social media strategy to preparing memes and videos for the prize challenges, this was a fun but daunting task for a two person team! But, Courtney (my colleague and I) were determined to make this BIGDOG the best one yet for Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS)!

After months of preparation, the day had come. Facebook was scheduled with fun and engaging posts to encourage people to donate, SFBFS staff were on-hand ready to make thank you calls to donors, e-blasts were ready and waiting to be dispatched with updates, board members and staff had credit cards in hands ready to give…and then…we got the notice.

The BIGDOG giving platform is currently down. Please stay tuned as we work to correct the problem.

What?! You’re telling me our donors aren’t able to give through the ONLY giving portal available for BIGDOG? Surely this is a small glitch that will be resolved soon. No problem. Put a hold on all posts, eblast, phone calls etc, until we hear more. Three hours went by…then four. After six hours of a non-responsive giving platform, Sacramento area non-profits decided to encourage donors to use their own personal giving platforms to give to their respective organizations. Even though the rules of BIGDOG only allowed donations through the KIMBIA platform, we certainly didn’t want to be missing out on critical donations that help to support the 135,000 men, women and children SFBFS serves monthly.

Our incredible team worked so well under pressure and did a fantastic job of keeping our donors up to date on the status of the giving platform. At the end of the day, the show must go on. With or without the designated giving platform (KIMBIA), we knew that our donors look forward to giving on this special day each year and didn’t want to deter anyone from giving where their heart is because of a technical difficulty.

After lots of backlash from the community, as well as local nonprofits, BIGDOG had come to an end. While the KIMBIA platform NEVER got fixed, our donors pulled through and were able to donate more than $70,000 to SFBFS. Our goal for the day was $55,000, so we were ecstatic to be able to far exceed our goals even with the technical challenges thrown our way. I know we say this over and over, but it could not be more true. SFBFS supporters are simply the best! Through their support, we are able to provide food, clothing and educational resources to thousands of families in need. This is the first step to #EndHungerSacramento and move people to self-sufficiency and financial independence. Again, great work, Sacramento! Can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together next year!

Submitted by:

Elise Hawkins, SFBFS' Communications Officer