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‘Valley Gives’ fundraiser less than 24 hours away

Organizers collecting in-person gifts at Big Y Thursday afternoon

The Pioneer Valley’s second annual 24-hour Valley Gives online fundraiser will kick off at 12 a.m. Thursday, although people can log on to ValleyGivesDay.org now and schedule a donation to their favorite nonprofit organization.

Donors who want to give gifts in person on Thursday can meet up with event organizers at Big Y in Greenfield from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Once the clock strikes midnight, the website will change to a live scoreboard with a running total of how much money the 351 organizations, including 55 in Franklin County, have brought in to that point. Organizers are hoping to double last year’s total and bring $2 million to local nonprofits.

When the calendar switches to Friday the 13th, the totals will be locked into place — and prizes will be given out to small and large nonprofits that bring in the most money and highest number of total donors. The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts will also give out prizes throughout the day, attaching bonus money to random donations.

“The excitement is building,” said Kristin Leutz, who helps run the project for the foundation. “We’ve noticed a lot more activity on social media ... We’re very confident that people will come out in force and be generous.”

Thirty of the 55 Franklin County nonprofits are returning from last year’s Valley Gives fundraiser. Some organizations, both returning and newcomers, have produced videos or have been promoting the event on social media outlets, said Leutz.

Franklin County Home Care Corp. caught on quickly to plan for a successful giving day, she said. If Home Care can raise $12,000 on Thursday, then two anonymous donors have agreed to give a matching $12,000 gift.

A full list of participating organizations and information about the day can be found on Valley Gives’ blog at: http://valleygives.wordpress.com/

About 95 percent of each donation will go to the nonprofit. The money flows through the Razoo Foundation, a company based in Washington, D.C., that specializes in online charity drives.

Razoo will retain 4.9 percent of each donation (including credit card transaction costs), an increase from 2.9 percent last year.

You can reach Chris Shores at: cshores@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 264

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