Today's the day
Today is the one-day fundraiser known as Coastside Gives. Clay Lambert / Review

Today is the day to give back to the Coastside. Coastside Gives is a one-day fundraiser that seeks to replenish more than 50 local nonprofits that do important work on the San Mateo County coast.

The annual 24-hour giving day, which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for dozens of nonprofits on the San Mateo County coast, is sponsored by the Mavericks Community Foundation. This year there is a record 52 organizations participating. There is a remarkable spread of diversity between participants serving all kinds of needs. Youth sports, senior care and food delivery are just a few of many services supported.

One of the key pillars of this day-of-giving is the Power Hour, in which select organizations are slotted into a specified hour. The nonprofit that receives the most unique donations, with a $10, minimum, not the most money raised, will take home an additional $1,000 from the Mavericks Community Foundation. To learn more and view the online leaderboard, go to coastsidegives.org.

With concerns about the spread of coronavirus halting in-person gatherings, many of these organizations are relying on this donation period as a major source of fundraising. Many marque events on the Coastside, such as Pacific Coast Dream Machines and school auctions, have been postponed or moved online. Recognizing this need, Coastside Gives deployed its online donation option weeks before its signature 24-hour giving period. Kelly Hoffman-Davis, a Mavericks Community Foundation board member, explained that this is a pivotal moment for the future of local nonprofits.

“I think people were excited to do it and are looking for new fundraising opportunities,” Hoffman-Davis said. “But once the coronavirus happened, this has become what they’re counting on.”

Coastside Hope is one of many participants whose programs are bolstered significantly by this year’s fundraiser. Judith Guerrero, Coastside Hope’s Executive Director, believes the Mavericks Community Foundation has stepped up its outreach in recent years and made a big impact on many local organizations.

“I think it speaks to the community we live in,” Guerrero said. “Everyone is willing to support our most vulnerable neighbors in need, especially during this time. Coastside Gives is important every year, but this year it’s more important. Not just for us, but for every nonprofit on the coast.”

Like the organizations they support, Coastside Gives had to adapt with the times. It changed its prizes, advertising, messaging and allowed its website to take donations long before the 24-hour challenge. It also added an in-person option. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, donors who don’t want to use the website can go to the new Contactless Donation Drop-Off at Alifano Technologies in Half Moon Bay. Coastside Gives is also encouraging participants to get creative with advertising, offering prizes for challenges such as the best YouTube video and photo on Facebook. It’s all an incentive for organizations to spread their message.

“The nonprofits have an opportunity to win extra money by completing these prizes,” Hoffman-Davis said. “People are learning how to make videos and spread their message. Social media has been flooded with really fun informational videos about what these organizations do and why they need the money.”

Hoffman-Davis explained that at its core, Coastside Gives provides an opportunity for many local nonprofits to come together under one banner, giving exposure to other programs the public may not be aware of. For example, she mentioned a Farallone View Elementary School teacher who went online to donate last year only to discover Puente de La Costa Sur. The teacher was so enamored with Puente, she swore she would volunteer for them when she retired.

“That’s what this all about,” Hoffman-Davis said. “Really bring awareness to our community and the nonprofits that support us.”

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