MADISON — Community Shares of Wisconsin (CSW) today announced it will host the area’s first-ever online giving day, The Big Share™, on Tuesday, March 3, to benefit 70 local nonprofits that are building a fair, just community and protecting our environment.

The Big Share is a 24-hour fundraising event to rally support for Community Shares’ nonprofit groups. Modeled on successful giving day events in other parts of the country, The Big Share is an easy, flexible way to donate to and to learn more about organizations that help our community—largely through online engagement and interactions on social media. From a single web page, donors can select sub-pages from among all 70 nonprofits and direct their gifts to the causes they care about. Further, prizes from local businesses will offer nonprofits and donors a way to increase the impact of any single gift.

According to Crystel Anders, Community Shares’ Executive Director, “A giving day like The Big Share does not replace traditional fundraising, but it can greatly expand our members’ base of donors.

“Community Shares of Wisconsin welcomes donations of all sizes and allows donors to direct gifts specifically to the groups of their choice. Workplace giving has always been a key part of our fundraising.

“The Big Share now allows us to reach out to new supporters, including young donors who may prefer to connect with causes online, people working from home, and retirees who no longer have the chance to give through the workplace.”

Community Shares of Wisconsin is raising funds with help from many local businesses and individuals who are offering matching gifts and cash prizes to donors selected at random. In addition, the Madison Community Foundation serves as partnering sponsor of The Big Share, contributing both funding and leadership.

Bob Sorge, Madison Community Foundation President, said that “over the last five years giving days have become a major part of the work of community foundations, so when Community Shares approached us about supporting their efforts, it was the perfect opportunity to get involved. We’ve given grants to 28 of the participating nonprofits and 11 hold their endowments at MCF. We’re excited to be part of this effort and delighted to bolster these groups’ fundraising capacity.”

Because of Community Shares’ unique cooperative model, it fosters its member nonprofits’ ability to reach out to the next generation of donors and nonprofit leaders. As part of The Big Share, CSW is boosting the digital fundraising and communications skills of nonprofit members through trainings and 1:1 assistance. The Big Share also builds on an established partnership with the UW-Madison’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. UW students are gaining real-world training while helping nonprofits build capacity and refine their social media skills. A grant from the Evjue Foundation is helping to support these training efforts.

To find out more about The Big Share, visit www.thebigshare.org.

About Community Shares of Wisconsin

Community Shares of Wisconsin is a member-directed fundraising federation; all of its member groups hold a seat on the CSW board. CSW raises money through workplace giving campaigns, the Round Up program at Capitol Centre Market, and the Community CHIP™ program at Willy Street Co-op. Community Shares not only raises money for its groups, it actively helps expand their capacity through training, 1:1 support from experts, networking, and technical assistance.

About Madison Community Foundation

Madison Community Foundation encourages, facilitates and manages long-term philanthropy. Since 1942, the foundation staff has helped people realize their philanthropic goals, allowing them to support charitable interests anywhere in the world. The community foundation also awards grants throughout Dane County to build communities. More information is available online at www.madisoncommunityfoundation.org.