Give BIG Green Bay

Reflecting on Green Bay’s 24-hour day of giving.

Written from the perspective of Tony Schneider, Director of Resource Development and Community Engagement

Give BIG Green Bay is a 24-hour online giving campaign hosted by the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. The event is designed to transform the way our community thinks about and contributes to Brown County charities. The nonprofits selected this year provided a snapshot of the diverse and numerous ways nonprofits enrich our community and contribute to its wellbeing. The goal when creating the participant pool is to include a balance of community services while ensuring the giving day remains a platform for community awareness and education for the important role nonprofits play in our community. This year St. John’s Ministries was chosen as a participant, and we could not be happier with the results!

I have never been involved in Give BIG Green Bay and this was the first time in four years for St. John’s Ministries, our third year in all. I had no idea the time and effort that went in to planning, promoting, and preparing. Give BIG Green Bay, although it is a 24-hour event, required several trainings, webinars, and weeks of planning to ensure a successful day of giving. I attended all the trainings, scheduled all our emails, social media posts, and promoted the heck out of the event in the weeks leading up to it, and on the day of. However, I still went home every day feeling unsure about my efforts, unsure of how the day would go, and regularly worrying about the success the day would bring for St. John’s Ministries.

On the night before the event started, I was up late tweaking our communications, making sure it wasn’t overwhelming to you, our supporters. I was busy making sure I had everything needed for the Give BIG Social Hour that our friends at Awaken, another participant, had setup for others involved. It wasn’t until the giving day finished, at 12pm on Thursday, February 22, that I felt at ease and able to breathe comfortably. Thanks to our community and St. John’s Ministries supporters, I can happily consider the day a great success! In fact, I believe that this year was the most successful giving event since Give BIG Green Bay started over seven years ago.

I was at the Johnsonville Tailgate Village at Lambeau Field during the final hour and remember when the number of donors surpassed 5,000. There were cheers, hoots and hollers, and a general sense of amazement. Jesse, our Executive Director was doing a radio interview at the time, and I wondered if the commotion could be heard by listeners. There was speculation on whether the total giving would exceed $3,000,000. With one hour left the total giving was nearly $2,500,000 and I had my doubts. But low and behold, the community came through, as they always do.

In just 24 hours, 5,617 community donors gave a total of $3,040,107!

I was born and raised in Green Bay, and the community continues to amaze me. The support shown for each other and our neighbors in need, is unwavering. The same can certainly be said for you, the supporters of St. John’s Ministries.

As I mentioned earlier, I had no idea what to expect. I was simply hoping for a successful day, and without fail you made sure the day was more successful than I could have ever imagined! In just 24 hours, St. John’s Ministries had 409 unique donors, contribute, and help raise over $93,000! With the most unique donors in our division, and the matching fund from The Green Bay Packers and other generous donors, St. John’s Ministries raised an estimated $113,000!

To put that into perspective, $113,000 represents:

  • 71 full nights of shelter for 115 men and women.
  • 323 full meals for over 100 guests at our Men’s Shelter.
  • 753 full meals for over 50 guests at our Women’s Shelter.
  • 1,413 nights of heat at our shelter.
  • 3,324 individual bed nights for men and women with no place else to go.

I know it is a cliché as it gets, but I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the support that you have shown our guests and organization. For the last month my time has been consumed by Give BIG Green Bay, and now St. John’s Ministries is consumed by love, support, and hope for the future.

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