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Foundation debuts online 'giving day' for nonprofits

Twenty-four-hour give-a-thon is first of its kind locally

On May 6, the Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation will be hosting SVGives, the region's first "crowdfunding" event to benefit more than 600 local nonprofit organizations.

The goal of SVGives is to raise millions of dollars for charities in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Benito counties within the span of 24 hours.

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation is spearheading the event with the support of Microsoft, and the initiative will call on Valley companies and residents to log on to the crowdfunding platform, www.svgives.org, and donate Tuesday.

The Community Foundation has raised $2.8 million in preparation for the event, to fund matching gifts and incentives for nonprofit organizations.

Although the 24-hour event takes place mainly online, in-person events will also be hosted at Stanford Shopping Center, several Whole Foods markets and Microsoft retail stores.

PayPal will match 1 percent of each donation made through its Web service up to a maximum of $500,000.

Donations will be made through Razoo Foundation, a crowdfunding nonprofit, which will forward 95.1 percent of each donation on to the designated nonprofit. Donations may also be made on May 6 directly to nonprofit organizations.

"Enthusiasm about SVGives is running high in the local nonprofit community, and for good reason," said Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. "This event will raise awareness of — and money for — the many terrific organizations working to make our communities stronger."

Since last fall, the foundation has hosted nearly two dozen training sessions for the charities, designed to help them maximize potential donations and equip them for future fundraising and marketing.

"SVGives is an innovative and engaging way for organizations to tap into the vast resources of Silicon Valley in an effort to better the lives of its citizens," said Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president of technology and civic engagement at Microsoft.

— Kayla Layaoen and Palo Alto Weekly staff

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