In its inaugural year, an online fundraising event called Lowcountry Giving Day raised nearly $2.5 million in donations to local nonprofits Tuesday.

That is in addition to a $1.5 million pool of incentive funds raised before the event, meaning the event raised nearly $4 million in all.

"I do not know of another day when the people of the Lowcountry gave so much so quickly," said George Stevens, president and CEO of the Coastal Community Foundation.

The foundation facilitated the 24-hour event, part of a national effort among more than 100 community foundations nationwide called Give Local America.

The Charleston Symphony Orchestra received the highest dollar amount of the nonprofits taking part with $132,236 in donations. It was followed by the Charleston Animal Society, Spoleto Festival USA and Ashley Hall.

Charleston Animal Society received the most individual donations at 489, followed by the College of Charleston, Friends of the Charleston County School District and Crisis Ministries.

"I'm humbled by the generosity of the community at large which has now exceeded the generosity of even our most wonderful incentivizing donors. That was the whole point of the day," Stevens said.

Before the event began Tuesday, the foundation had raised $1.5 million in pledges from major donors for an incentive pool, more than any other community participating in a giving day event. Local philanthropist Anita Zucker pledged $1 million.

Nearly 100 local nonprofits competed to see which could raise the most in online donations in 24 hours. The incentive pool was used to match funds raised at a rate based on how much each nonprofit raised. In all, people made 6,677 individual donations to nonprofits online Tuesday.

The event was held at lowcountrygiving day.org.

Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563 or follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes.