Arizona Gives Day is April 7: Online donations critical amid COVID-19

Posted 4/6/20

Arizona Gives Day on Tuesday is a little more critical for local nonprofits than in previous years.

With the new coronavirus keeping large gatherings next to none, some nonprofits have had to …

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Arizona Gives Day is April 7: Online donations critical amid COVID-19

Posted

Arizona Gives Day on Tuesday is a little more critical for local nonprofits than in previous years.

With the new coronavirus keeping large gatherings next to none, some nonprofits have had to cancel fundraising events during the months of March and April. A recent Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits survey put the projected financial impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic at a minimum of $36 million.

“It is having a tremendous impact on UCP’s ability to fundraise,” stated Katy Hansen, Director of Development of UCP of Central Arizona. “We had to cancel the Circle K Dessert Klassic Golf tournament on March 27, which raised $880,000 last year. We also had to postpone the UCP Unstoppable a Celebration of Champions gala at Mountain Shadows resort from May 2 to August 29.

“We are dealing with many companies who typically would pledge generously as sponsors to attend hesitating because of the great uncertainty with their revenues and waiting to see what the impact of COVID-19 will be to their business.”

But with Arizona Gives Day, people can donate from the comfort of their own homes. The online fundraising initiative is all day Tuesday, and brings together Arizonans from across the state to raise awareness and financial support for more than 700 nonprofit organizations.

“Arizonans continue to show their commitment and support to nonprofits through their giving,” said Jennifer Purcell, Vice President of Community Engagement of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits. “We are excited for the 2020 Arizona Gives Day and to further showcase the important work our nonprofits are doing in our communities.”

Since its start in 2013, the event has raised nearly $17 million, according to officials. Arizonans are encouraged to help make a difference Tuesday by investing in the nonprofit of their choice.

UCP of Central Arizona provides comprehensive services to individuals with disabilities and their families by providing physical and developmental support as well as educational growth for independent living.

But with closures of all UCP facilities, the only way to stay in touch with children families is through telehealth, which allows them to connect with therapists over the computer.

UCP of Central AZ is hoping to raise $5,000 through Arizona Gives Day.

“Now more than ever UCP needs the support of the community to help ensure we will continue to be around to help thousands of people with disabilities receive the care they deserve” Ms. Hansen stated.

Visit www.azgives.org to donate. Early giving began March 17 and continues through Tuesday. Participating organizations will also have a chance to win a portion of a $184,500 prize pool.

Kristen Merrifield, CEO of Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits, said additional steps have been taken to expand support through the upcoming 24-hour online fundraising campaign, including:

An Emergency Relief Fund giving donors the option to increase donations as an add-on at check out or through direct donation at www.azgives.org/aznonprofits. All funds will be distributed equally among participating nonprofits;

Re-opening registration to allow organizations that had to cancel fundraisers, programs and other events that originally chose not to participate to be able to benefit from the fundraiser; and

A group of donors has provided separate funding enabling the alliance to waive payment-processing fees normally paid by nonprofits participating in Arizona Gives Day.

Over in the West Valley, the Peoria Diamond Club is looking to raise $10,000 through Arizona Gives Day.

“We, especially in this unusual and unprecedented financial and emotional climate, are anxious to help the organizations that so need us all to step up,” said Roz Shanley, General Manager. “I have faith that all together we can make a difference through this health crisis and still support the increasing children’s needs.”

Ms. Shanley said the Club has a grant program and a scholarship fund that they are planning to continue with this year and beyond. Their spring training revenues suffered as the spread of COVID-19 led to games being canceled mid-March.

“We are hoping sponsors and individual donations here will help make up the difference we are now lacking,” Ms. Shanley said.

To meet the needs of clients, Superstition Community Food Bank — formerly Apache Junction Food Bank — is having to use reserved funds to purchase food to offset the decline in support form grocery stores.

To supplement revenue, the food bank is participating in Arizona Gives Day, with a goal of $100,000.

“We’ve never needed the community’s support more than we do right now,” said Myra Garcia, executive director. “The spirit of neighbors-helping-neighbors has been the backbone of this country through wars, disasters, epidemics, depression, recession and now pandemic. I can tell you that spirit is alive and well right now at the Superstition Community Food Bank.”

In March, President Donald Trump announced that individuals and businesses are allowed to delay filing and paying federal tax bills for 90 days as part of an emergency relief plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new filing date nationwide is July 15. However, with that change, a legislative act at the Arizona capitol would have to occur for the Arizona charitable tax credit deadline to be extended as well.

The Arizona Department of Revenue confirmed the April 15 deadline and outlined the state’s two separate tax credits for individuals who make contributions to charitable organizations:

One is meant for donations to Qualifying Charitable Organizations; and

The second for donations to Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organizations.

“Every nonprofit faces an uncertain future,” said Dan Shufelt, founder and CEO of Phoenix-based Arizona Helping Hands, in a statement to Independent Newsmedia pointing out the dramatic, immediate impact the novel coronavirus is having on outreach organizations.

“Funding is key to our ability to continue to our work providing essential needs to Arizona’s most vulnerable population — boys and girls in foster care. I have grave concerns about how America will support charities through, and after, this crisis. The economic downturn, the dramatic increase in unemployment and potential changes in the philosophy of charitable foundations regarding funding decisions all place a gray cloud over the future.”

The confusion that could arise around the changing of tax filing dates may create dire situations for Arizona nonprofits large and small, according to Ms. Merrifield.

“In Arizona, the charitable tax credit — there are four of them — are established by statute and we would need to have a legislative change to move the tax credit deadline,” she said. “That is not going to get done given the immediate severity of everything that is going on. Donors would still have to make these charitable contributions by April 15 to take advantage of that for the previous tax year.”

Independent Newsmedia editor Terrance Thornton contributed to this report.

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