Act Like a Reckless Millionaire for a Day: Donate to Give Big

Remember that scene from Tim Burton’s Batman, in which the Joker orders his bomber-jacket clad henchmen to dump a bunch of money onto the streets of Gotham?

Removing all nefarious intentions, and pretending there are well-meaning nonprofit managers on the street below, not greedy movie extras – that crazy money-distributing mad man or woman could be you on May 2, should you choose to participate in Seattle Foundation’s Give Big day.

In other words, give any amount of money tomorrow via the Seattle Foundation website, and the foundation will “stretch” your donation in a pool that helps benefit a long list of beneficiaries. So instead of delivering $200 dollars to one favorite theater company – it's like you’re throwing a bag of money into a street full of do-gooders!

And instead of fighting to grab as much as possible for themselves, said do-gooders fairly distribute the money and then exchange gratuitous high-fives.

In case you still have questions, the Seattle Foundation breaks it down a little more here:

Each donation made through The Seattle Foundation's website to the any of the 1,300 profiled nonprofit organizations between midnight and midnight (Pacific Time) on May 2, 2012 will receive a pro-rated portion of the matching funds (or "stretch") pool. The amount of the "stretch" depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day. For example, if a nonprofit organization receives 3 percent of the total donations during GiveBIG, then it will receive 3 percent of the stretch pool.

If you don’t already have a favorite organization in mind, the list will feel overwhelmingly long. Don’t be discouraged!

Use the search tool on this page. Type in a keyword that relates to something you care about, for example: “trees” or “animals” or “circus arts.”

Then you can peruse a slightly shorter list of detailed profiles that outline how each group’s mission and reach concretely supports that cause. (This is nice, because you know you’re not actually just dumping money arbitrarily over the side of a building – it’s going somewhere to do actual good.)

Some ideas:

You can assist the Alzheimer's Association of Western & Central Washington in providing direct services to people living with dementia – or help Treehouse cover the 40% of expenses the state can’t provide for kids in foster care.

You can see that the American Heart Association “improves the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent” by 2020.

Or ensure that Bellevue Youth Theatre continues to support “Eastside youth who are often excluded from traditional theatre or school shows.”

From the Burke Museum’s cultural reservoir, to the Washington National Parks’ beautiful landscapes, to Crosscut's excellent pool of writers, to Whim W’him dance company’s masterful moves – all these groups could do well by a little boost.

There’s no day better than May 2 to offer your support.

You like to give. Why not Give Big?


This post has been edited since its original publication.