Lowcountry Giving Day tallies preliminary $7.2M for local nonprofits

A worker Wednesday removed the Twitter hashtag promotion for Lowcountry Giving Day from the American Theater’s King Street marquee in downtown Charleston.

Nearly $7.2 million was raised during this week’s Lowcountry Giving Day, a 24-hour Internet crowdfunding event that benefited 179 nonprofit groups, according to organizer Coastal Community Foundation.

Foundation spokeswoman Monica Tanouye said the group has not yet confirmed all of the money received from incentive donors — those who put up money beforehand to match donations to certain nonprofits during the event — so the final total might change. Those donors had pledged about $3.2 million.

Money collected by the foundation was leading in the national Give Local America campaign, which included this area’s Lift the Lowcountry event. The group was ranked No. 6 in the country in terms of the number of gifts received, at 12,544. Final national totals will be available Thursday, according to the organization.

Locally, animal rescue group Charleston Animal Society had the most donations, with 1,070 gifts totaling $102,746. The Trident Technical College Foundation, which raises funds for the two-year state school, tallied the most money, at $156,850 from 109 donations.

This year’s event eclipsed the 2014 Lowcountry Giving Day, which raised more than $4 million for 93 nonprofits in the coastal region.

“It’s been wildly successful,” said Bill Medich, the Coastal Community Foundation’s board chairman. “It’s incredible the way the community has embraced this.”

The foundation serves an eight-county region of coastal South Carolina. The counties served are Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Beaufort, Colleton, Jasper, Hampton and Georgetown.

The nonprofits that participated this year run the gamut from Actor’s Theatre of South Carolina to the YMCA of Greater Charleston, and they represent almost every philanthropic interest, including animals, arts and culture, community improvement, education, environment, health, human services and youth development.

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On a national level, the marathon fundraising event was organized by Kimbia, a vendor of online giving software solutions. According to Kimbia, the average gift nationwide in last year’s event was $112.92. This year’s average gift was $191,30.

Reach David Wren at 937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_