The second Arizona Gives Day is Wednesday, and local charities are working together to raise as much money as possible.
The idea's genesis comes from Minnesota, where MN Gives Day has raised as much as $30 million a year.
Charities would often host events, such as dinners or raffles, to raise the money. But those events come with costs. And, the idea behind Arizona Gives Day this year is to eliminate that overhead and make giving the only event.
"You're not buying some silent auction item or getting some dinner you're not going to need," said Clint Mabie, Arizona Gives Day spokesman and organizer. "Every donation goes right to the charity. It's a fantastic chance for these charities to have, what I'll call, a non-event, and raise money that goes straight to the bottom line."
Last year's gives day saw more than $1 million raised for Arizona charities.
"We ended up raising close to $35,000 that day," said Lisa Shipek, executive director of Watershed Management Group, a Tucson-based organization that works on community-based solutions for environmental issues. "We ended up raising the most dollars that day, and that earned us a $15,000 cash prize. So, we earned nearly $50,000."
Arizona Gives Day gives out additional cash to those who finish well in areas, such as most money raised and most individual donors. That extra money can act as incentive for nonprofits, who worry they are bothering their donors.
"We found that none of the people we are dealing with felt bugged or bothered by it," said Ben's Bells founder Jeannette Maré. "Rather people really got the spirit, donated, and we won the grand prize: $20,000 for the nonprofit with most donors."
With this event, nonprofits say the hope to mobilize their donors, as well as others who are new to giving. They also hope people who already donate will start giving to additional charities.
Arizona Gives Day makes giving a competition, putting donors in different regions or those giving to different organizations against each other. After the event, results are posted on their website, showing which organizations received the most donations minute-by-minute, similar to a scoreboard.
"We're going to have it projected on the wall at our campaign headquarters in our office..." Shipek said. "And we will bring it over to Tap and Bottle, and be looking ay it there, so we'll be watching all night."
This year, more than 1,000 group representing all 15 counties are participating in Arizona Gives Day.
"There's been a lot more planning this year...I think the organizations know more about what Arizona Gives Day is," Mabie said. "They know more about how to prepare for that day."