The Amazing Raise: More than $1.8 million raised in 36 hours

CHAT brings home the grand prize yet again, as does Richmond Center for Christian Study.

Update #1 — September 17, 2015; 8:28 PM

For the 20 millionth year in a row, Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) has won the day with 938 unique gifts and a $62,522 cha-ching. That also gives them the grand prize (large organization) of 15,000 additional bucks, courtesy of TowneBank.

CHAT also won $3,000 in other grant prizes, bringing its grand total of money earned in the last 48 hours to $80,522. I would honestly like to know how they do it, year after year.

TowneBank also awarded a grand prize to the top small organization–Richmond Center for Christian Study.

Runner up, with a not-too-shabby $10,000 grant is Community Idea Stations, with Elijah House Academy coming in third (and grabbing a $7,500 grant in the process). For small orgs, second place goes to Blue Sky Fund, and third goes to the Southside SPCA.

If you get really, really granular in how you guide your donors, you could stand to make about a grand prize-worth of money just from these smaller grants. For instance, the Richmond Symphony picked up $13,000 in grants, despite not placing in the top three in large organizations. It also raised $50,255 from its donors, and $63,255 total is nothing to sneeze at.

Blue Sky Fund won so many grants (including their second prize grant), that its prize money totaled more than a grand prize–$16,500!

I feel like I’m supposed to say “unfortunately,” here. Unfortunately, the Amazing Raise 2015 didn’t make its goal of $2,000,000, but at $1,837,100.69, that’s pretty dang close. It’s kind of incredible the amount of money these causes raised in so little time, while making it fun for the rest of us. Philanthropy! It sure feels good!

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Original — September 15, 2015

Beginning tomorrow, September 16th at 6:00 AM, participating organizations will have 36 hours to raise as much money via online donations as they can.

The Community Foundation is the organization behind the whole thing. Their has been sort of an for local nonprofits–donors can search, find out more, and make wise investments in a cause of their choosing. With online giving made easy, nonprofits benefit. And with information readily available, donors benefit.

Add a ticking clock, and you’ve really got a cash-generating machine for good.

What makes this different than just a big fat fundraising drive: There are various prizes for the organizations that can galvanize certain amounts of donors and bring it certain amounts of dollars in certain timeframes. Several other organizations and funds have committed to award grants for a number of somewhat kooky achievements.

For example, the Spark Mill pledges to give $1,000 to the organization that “receives the most unduplicated ‘selfies for good’ on Instagram during this time.” But…are any selfies good? Don’t they only exist to be annoying? The Spark Mill believes that humanity’s vainest hobby to date can be turned into a philanthropic one–so long as they do it following their rules (check the site for more details. Other grants go to the organization with the most donations during happy hour, the closest donation to midnight, that kind of thing.

OK, I’ve got $50 I’m willing to give to a fantastic cause. How do I choose?

Aha, there’s the real rub (besides coming up with 50 extra bones). The Amazing Raise home page provides a handy search form if you’ve got your organization in mind. The minimum donation is $25, but $50 will count you as a for-real individual donor, which counts towards the organizations total donor numbers.

If you don’t, you can browse by cause. For instance, select the “Education” category, then filter by city, and you’ve got a pretty large number of options that could all use your help.

Click on any of those options, and you’ll be treated to a nice succinct summary of what they do, the amount they’ve raised so far, and a link to their various sites and social media profiles.

My child has $0 but it sure would be nice to get her into the spirit of giving?

We applaud you! And so does The Amazing Raise, which has a whole page that helps you get your kids involved. Growing up giving back makes a big impact on a child.

How do I set an alarm on my iPhone so that I can give during this window?

It’s fairly simple!

Those details again

The Amazing Raise runs from 6:00 AM on Wednesday, September 16th to 6:00 PM on Thursday, September 17th. Help them raise $2 million total in two days, and donate to your favorite nonprofit on

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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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