Long Beach Gives Accepting Early Donations

Long Beach Gives is hosting its fourth annual online giving event which has begun taking early donations as of Sept. 15.

Long Beach Gives is the city’s annual online giving event where members of the community can donate to any of the nonprofits that they choose. This year, the day of the event is Thursday, Sept. 22, and runs from midnight to midnight. There is also extended giving that ends on Friday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m. 

Their website features over 15 pages of a variety of nonprofits that focus on arts, education, youth, and food security.  The organization surpassed its $2 million goal last year and is hoping to hit over $2.2 million this year with the 232 participating nonprofits. Their overall goal is to inspire individuals and businesses in the community to support nonprofits for the critical services they provide.

“Since 2019 we’ve raised a bit over $4.6 million for nonprofits. We have seen some pretty incredible growth over the years,” said Matt Guardabascio, the campaign manager for Long Beach Gives. “I think we were over $850 thousand we raised in the first year and then over $1.5 million in the second year in 2020, so we almost doubled what we did during the first.” 

All of the participating organizations have to be serving people or doing programming in the city of Long Beach. The Jazz Angels is one of the participating nonprofits. They aim to create opportunities for the youth to hear and learn about jazz while encouraging them to play and even providing chances to perform. 

“We’ve been participating in Long Beach Gives for three years. We’re happy to be a part of that program and it’s really been powerful to connect to these other nonprofits,” said Barry Cogert, the managing director for the Jazz Angels. “Long Beach Gives shines a spotlight on nonprofits in the city that without them (LBG) I don’t know if we’d have that spotlight. It connects the nonprofits so we can share ideas and collaborate with each other.” One way people can give to the Jazz Angels other than giving money is volunteering time or even donating old or broken instruments so they can be repaired for the participating youth to play.

Long Beach Gives started as a graduate school project from Julie Meenean, the executive director of the Josephine S. Gumbiner Foundation, and eventually collaborated with other organizations in March of 2018 to create what it is today. “The nonprofit sector really touches every corner of this city and I think the last couple of years COVID has really shown why it’s important to have a strong nonprofit sector that’s able to be nimble and pivot in times of crisis,” said Guardabascio. “I think especially in times of inflation, the people who have the capacity to give are in such a position to make a really incredible impact right now.”

For more information, visit their website here.  

By Andrew Ayala

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Gives.