Force for Good: Agencies prepare for May 4 GiveNOLA Day

Jewish organizations in the New Orleans area are once again gearing up for GiveNOLA Day, which will be held on May 4 this year.

All 17 organizations that took part last year are participating once again, among over 800 non-profits in the 24-hour online fundraiser.

An initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA raised over $7.1 million last year from over 50,000 donors across the country. This is the eighth year for GiveNOLA Day.

While the main campaign is from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on May 4, gifts can also be pre-scheduled from April 20 to May 3.

Sponsors and donors contribute to the GiveNOLA Lagniappe Fund, which is divided proportionally among the participating non-profits based on how much they raise.

There are also hourly Rock Around the Clock bonuses of $1,000 all day, and any organization with a donation during that hour is eligible for the random drawing. Pre-scheduled gifts are not counted toward Rock Around the Clock.

The organizations with the most money raised gets a $7,500 bonus in the large, medium and small organization categories. Similar awards go to groups with the most individual donors. Bonuses are given through fifth place.

Federation Matches

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans has consistently been one of the top fundraisers, coming in first among small organizations for five years in a row, until the categories were restructured last year, moving the Federation to the large organization category. Despite the change, the Federation still ranked fourth among 834 organizations in 2020, raising $133,766 from 282 donors.

Each year, the Federation holds special programs in connection with GiveNOLA Day, including Power Hours where gifts are matched.

This year, the Federation has a goal of $150,000, with numerous incentive matches. Federation COO Sherri Tarr is challenging first-time donors, and asking existing donors to make an additional gift for GiveNOLA Day, matching those gifts up to $5,000.

Mara and Josh Force are matching pre-scheduled gifts dollar for dollar up to $1,000.

An Early Bird Match between 7 and 9 a.m. from Brian and Lisa Katz will double Federation donations up to $2,000. The afternoon Power Hour, from 2 to 3 p.m., will see the Forces and Katzes matching gifts up to $5,000.

There will be a free in-person GiveNOLA Day event, coordinated by JNOLA, JNEXT and JP NOLA, with the Federation’s Leventhal Center for Interfaith Families and Goldring Family Foundation Center for Jewish-Multicultural Affairs. “A Force For Good” will be a “Star Wars” themed party from 6 to 8 p.m. at Zony Mash Beer Project. There will be live music at the outdoor event, with masks and social distancing. The first drink is on the Federation, as is a second with any donation placed during the event. Registration is required.

During the evening event, the Katzes and JP NOLA co-chair Marc Behar will match gifts, up to $2,500. There is another Night Owl match, for gifts made from 8 to 11:59 p.m., of up to $2,500.

A new program is the Social Media Incentive. When 54 people have shared Federation GiveNOLA posts, check in at the Zony Mash event or tag friends on social media with #forceforgoodNOLA or #jeworleans by 11:59 p.m., an extra $1,000 will be unlocked from Marc Behar.

In all, the 17 Jewish community organizations raised over $236,000 last year. In addition to the Federation, this year’s participating organizations are Jewish Children’s Regional Service, the Jewish Community Day School, Jewish Family Service, the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience, National Council of Jewish Women, Northshore Jewish Congregation, the Anti-Defamation League, Avodah, Beth Israel, Gates of Prayer, the New Orleans Jewish Community Center, Shir Chadash, Slater Torah Academy, Tulane Hillel, Hadassah New Orleans and Temple Sinai.

Jewish Family Service has set a goal of $5,000, and the Day School announced a donor has pledged a $10,000 match for donations. The Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience has an $18,000 goal for the day.

GiveNOLA Day also falls during the Hillel Global Giving Week, and Tulane Hillel is working toward $20,000 and 150 gifts by May 7 through several platforms, including a match of up to $5,000 for gifts made on the Global Giving platform.

Donations can be made here, and can be made from anywhere around the world. The minimum donation is $10.