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New look to the art of fundraising

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by Ashton Brown

DOVER — In an ever-changing world, philanthropic giving can be unpredictable. So, if nonprofit organizations don’t adapt to the changes it could spell trouble in the future.

That’s why United Way is hosting an online fundraiser. It’s called Do More 24. It will take place on Thursday for more than 200 nonprofits across the state.

“It’s our first time doing this but we’ve seen other organizations do similar events and be very successful,” said Diana O’Leary, chief marketing director for United Way.

One such organization involved in the fundraiser is Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts.

“Last month we lost two longtime donors with very little notice,” said Sydney Arzt, executive director of the Schwartz Center. “We didn’t have any time to prepare for the loss, so we’re really seeking community support.”

Organization for the web-based fundraiser started in March. By advertising through United Way and partners like the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement and the Delaware Community Foundation, groups with focuses ranging from animal welfare to workforce readiness have signed up to participate.

Everything donated will go straight to the nonprofit and the funds are unrestricted.

“That’s something that makes this fundraiser a great opportunity for local nonprofits,” Ms. O’Leary said.

“In a lot of cases, like with grants, the money can only be used for certain aspects of the organization. But this gives them the freedom to use the money wherever they see most fit.”

To make the most of the fundraiser, which has an overall one-day goal of $500,000, United Way has worked with the participants on the best ways to advertise the drive, mostly through social media.

Although Thursday’s fundraiser is online, the Schwartz Center will open festivities to the public between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., just outside its entrance on State Street.

“We’ll have the street closed off and it will be like a party to spread awareness about the Schwartz Center’s need for community support,” Ms. Arzt said.

There will be food trucks, ice cream, a live radio broadcast and a performance by popular local band Love Seed Mama Jump.

The theater also will be open to give those who have not been inside a look at what the Schwartz, originally built in 1904, has to offer.

Donations will be accepted at the event but for those who can’t make it, donations are welcome on the Do More 24 website.

The Schwartz Center has a goal of $25,000 and will be tracking donations live all through the day until time runs out.

“We appreciate donations of any size. You could donate $5 or $5,000 and we would be thankful,” Ms. Arzt said. “If everyone donated just $5, we would be much better off than we are now.”

Online donations for all participating Delaware organizations will be accepted from 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m. Thursday at

Participating nonprofits can be found by category on the left side of the page.
Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at [email protected]. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.