We will continue to update the FAQ information so that common questions can be addressed at any time.

What is GiveBIG Seattle?

GiveBIG Seattle is a one-day online giving event to raise funds for nonprofit organizations serving Greater Seattle. 

When is GiveBIG 2017?

GiveBIG 2017 is Wednesday, May 10 from midnight to midnight Pacific Time.

What is the GiveBIG url?


How do I stay informed about GiveBIG?

The best way to stay up to date is to read our blog and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Can any NPO participate in GiveBIG?

If you are a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization (or have a 501(c) 3 fiscal sponsor), based in King County, and have completed the Give BIG registration process, then you are eligible to participate.

Does it cost anything to participate?

Seattle Foundation does not charge nonprofits to participate in GiveBIG. There are fees for credit card transactions and the processing platform.

Who is Seattle Foundation?

Equity and opportunity. For all. This is the promise of Seattle Foundation. These are our highest held values, reflected in our mission, our partnerships, the character of our team and all we do. Few regions in the world can match Seattle’s current growth and prosperity. But accompanying our good fortune are great challenges, including the widening disparities between rich and poor. Such inequities weaken the vibrancy of our community. Philanthropy can—and must—step in. Using our philanthropic expertise, deep roots in the community and network of partners, Seattle Foundation develops targeted strategies to quicken the pace of progress toward a stronger community for all. We are an agent of change. Every day, we convene, communicate with and catalyze our philanthropic partners to advance this ideal, uniting passion and discipline to create lasting impact.

How does my organization sign up for GiveBIG?

Did your organization participate in GiveBIG 2016? If your answer is yes, then this is what you need to know:

We have sent the person identified as the "GiveBIG 2016 contact" an email with instructions on how to access your organization's GiveBIG profile. The email was sent from givebig@seattlefoundation.org. If you did not receive the email, first check your spam and junk email folders, then contact us at givebig@seattlefoundation.org for next steps. If you know that your "GiveBIG 2016" contact is no longer at your organization, please notify us at givebig@seattlefoundation.org and give the full name of your organization plus the name and email address of the individual who will be the contact person for GiveBIG. We will email instructions to that individual.

If you answer is no, then this is what you need to know:

If you are a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (or have a 501(c) (3) fiscal sponsor), based in King County, and would like to participate in GiveBIG this year,  fill out this short inquiry form. We will respond via email within seven business days. Deadline to apply is March 29, 2017.

Why should my organization sign up to participate?

-GiveBIG is the third largest Giving Day in the country. It is a community-wide event supported by significant media and corporate partnerships. It is our region's most well-recognized and visible crowd-funding platform, with more than 1,600 nonprofits estimated to be participating.

-Nearly 50 percent of GiveBIG donors give to multiple organizations. You don't want to be missing from the GiveBIG website when donors enjoying the convenience of online giving start "shopping" for more organizations to support!

-If you secure matching funds and market them effectively, GiveBIG has a higher income potential for you than GiveBIG's "stretch pool" offered in the past.

-The CiviCore giving platform offers powerful features, including the ability for donors to cover the fees, promotion and tracking of matching funds, and early giving. The processing fees are lower than in 2016.

-This year's theme, "Now More than Ever" provides a powerful communications platform for your organization to launch an urgent appeal for financial support.

-Your organization has the opportunity to win Dollars for Change, adding to your online donations.

How do I access my GiveBIG account once I have registered?

Go to GiveBIGSeattle.org and click on the login button.

What if I forget my password?

Click on the "Forget password?" link on the website.

What are some key dates our organization needs to be aware of?

Who is CiviCore?

CiviCore is GiveBIG 2017's technology partner. For almost a decade, CiviCore's platform has helped to raise over $200 million for some of the largest giving days in the country. This includes the successful execution of "Colorado Gives" on December 6, 2016, resulting in $35M being raised for charity. CiviCore has also celebrated recent giving day successes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; and Omaha, Nebraska.

What safeguards are in place to ensure a stable technology platform?

Assessing platform stability and ensuring thorough and multi-level contingency planning was paramount in our selection of CiviCore. CiviCore utilizes Amazon Web Services (AWS) for server hosting. AWS is the market leader offering world-class, highly secure data centers that utilize state-of-the-art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems.

The platform is designed to scale up in high volume situations by adding virtual public facing services.  In addition, file and database services have backups that can be placed in use quickly. Their design allows for transactions to continue if a database or file server fails.

GiveBIG Seattle will be the only event CiviCore is hosting on May 10, assuring that our shared success is the top priority.

Who is Stripe? 

Stripe is CiviCore's third party online credit card processor. It helps facilitate the processing of donations on May 10, and the automatic distribution of those funds to nonprofit organizations after GiveBIG is over. Stripe follows the most strict requirements for security in the industry and Stripe is certified as a PCI Level 1 Service Provider. Learn more about Stripe's security.

Why do I need to provide a SSN and government issued ID to register with Stripe?

Financial services entities such as Stripe are obligated, under provisions in the Patriot Act, to verify the identity of those who conduct transactions on behalf of the "legal entity customers" they serve.  Nonprofit organizations are not excluded from the definition of "legal entity customer."  Every nonprofit organization has at least one individual who has provided his/her Social Security number to a bank and/or other financial partners in order to transact business.   In May 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN") issued final rules regarding beneficial owner identification obligations for legal entity customers.  Under the Rule, covered financial institutions must establish procedures to verify the identities of those persons according to risk-based procedures, which those procedures must include the elements currently required under the Customer Identification Rule at a minimum.  Financial entities are strengthening their identification requirements and verification procedures as a result of this ruling.

Due to the flow of funds through the The K Foundation/Kimbia for GiveBIG 2016, nonprofits were not required to provide a representative's Social Security number.  In each prior year with Click and Pledge as the giving platform, nonprofits were required to provide a representative's Social Security  number.  The flow of funds this year, as well as the tightened requirements due to implementation of the FinCen rule, mean that a representative of each nonprofit will have to provide a Social Security number to comply with Stripe's Customer Identification Rule requirements.  We advise you consult with your Accounting/ Finance department to find out which employee serves in this role for your  nonprofit's primary banking relationship.  Stripe does not use this information for any other purpose, and takes your privacy and the security of your data very seriously. Note that this data is available only to Stripe, but not Seattle Foundation or CiviCore.  (Read more about Stripe's security and privacy policy.)   Stripe's request of a driver's license or other government issued ID is a reflection of the same customer identification requirements.

Is training available for the new website?

Making the Most of GiveBIG, hosted by Seattle Foundation in partnership with The Ostara Group, will focus on getting the most out of your organization's participation in GiveBIG. The workshop will be led by Ostara Senior Consultant and individual giving expert, Ariel Glassman. During the 90-minute session, you will learn tips on elevating your campaign strategy, leveraging the 1:1 matching gift structure and creating donor communications that stand out in the crowd.

Wednesday, April 5 from 2:00 - 3:30pm PT, Seattle Foundation, 1601 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1900, Seattle, WA 98101

To RSVP, please email heartandscience@seattlefoundation.org with the first and last name of each attendee as well as the organization you are with. 

During the Getting Ready for GiveBIG webinar, Alex from CiviCore will walk you through real-time donation reporting, the GiveBIG donation form, matching funds functionality and other day of event details.

-Tuesday, April 18 from 10:00 - 11:00am PT

Digital Media Workshops hosted by The Seattle Times

These workshops focused on digital media campaign planning. Tips on finding and securing matching funds were also presented. The Seattle Times PowerPoint presentation slides are available for review here. The presentation on securing matching funds is available here.

Getting Ready for Giving Days hosted by Washington Nonprofits

Giving days are growing in popularity. This webinar focuses on what nonprofits should do to get ready for these fundraising opportunities. The webinar is available on-demand here.

Follow our blog to stay up to date on the latest webinar information.   

Will there be a nonprofit toolkit available?

Yes, the toolkit is available here.

What url should my organization use to give donors?

Once you register, your nonprofit will have a specific link that you can provide donors. In the meantime, you can always point people to GiveBIGSeattle.org.

How do matching funds work?

GiveBIG is a crowdfunding event, using online donations of all sizes to raise funds for nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits maximize GiveBIG's potential when they secure matching funds to leverage online donations.  A matching grant of any size can incentivize donors to make a gift, or increase their gift, in order to help the organization maximize their fundraising efforts.  We are strongly encouraging each nonprofit to secure matching funds. Seattle Foundation will support this effort by hosting workshops in partnership with the Seattle Times. Included in the workshops will be a presentation focused on "Tips for securing matching funds." This presentation will also be recorded and available on-demand.

You can promote the matching funds on your GiveBIG page, and acknowledge the generous donor who made that gift.  As online gifts roll in throughout the day, the matching gift meter will countdown the amount needed to realize your match. It is a real time way to communicate with and motivate your donors. The CiviCore platform provides the ability to present one, dollar-for-dollar match, for GiveBIG.

An organization reports having matching funds. What does that mean?

A matching fund is a donation an organization solicited and obtained independently in order to boost their GiveBIG participation. If an organization reports having a matching fund, that means that all donations made to that organization up to the amount of the matching fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Donors do not need to do anything to participate in the match.

Why are you encouraging nonprofits to get matching funds?

A review of GiveBIG data, as well as fundraising research, shows that nonprofits are more successful when using matching funds from a donor(s) to fuel online giving.  According to The Big-Give Research Initiative, 84% of survey participants revealed they're more likely to donate if a match was offered. We are encouraging nonprofits to secure matching funds to power their participation in GiveBIG and are offering trainings, in partnership with Washington Nonprofits and others, to better enable organizations to secure matches and capitalize on this opportunity. With a technology platform to promote and track a $1-to-$1 match, this strategy has the power to be much more valuable than the $0.05 cents available through the stretch pool. 

Supporting Data on the Power of Matching Funds:

  • Mentioning matching gifts in fundraising appeals results in a 71% increase in the response rate and a 51% increase in the average donation amount (and that's prior to receiving matching gift funds) (Source: Tech Soup: Which Fundraising Strategies Work?)
  • 84% of survey participants revealed they're more likely to donate if a match was offered (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)
  • When a match is offered, one in three donors indicates they gave a larger gift because matching was applied to their donation (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)
  • Match-funding is the most likely factor to make donors give more. Match-funding even scored higher than emergency appeals. (Source: The Big-Give Research Initiative)
Why did Seattle Foundation discontinue the "stretch pool?"

As the participating nonprofits know, the monetary value of the "stretch pool" has declined as GiveBIG has grown.  At the current pace of donation growth, the pro-rated distribution of the $1 million "stretch pool" would have declined to 5 percent or less this year, close to the cost of the credit card and processing fees. While the stretch incentive was helpful in the early days of GiveBIG, many nonprofits told us that the "stretch pool" concept was difficult to communicate with donors and of limited marketing value, for delivering a relatively small financial impact.  This year, we are encouraging nonprofits to secure matching grants to power their success in GiveBIG.

What's the benefit to participating in GiveBIG if you don't have the stretch pool?

GiveBIG is the third largest Giving Day in the country.  It is a community-wide event supported by significant media and corporate partnerships.  It is our region's most well-recognized and visible crowd-funding platform, with more than 1,600 nonprofits participating. If you secure matching funds and market them effectively, GiveBIG has a higher income potential for you than GiveBIG's "stretch pool" offered in the past.

Are you doing Golden Tickets again?

Our Golden Tickets - random drawings of $1,000 given during GiveBIG - incentivize nonprofits and donors alike. Many giving days throughout the nation use drawings and prizes based on donations, rather than a stretch pool, to motivate giving. This year, we are expanding our drawings through Dollars For Change, a new donor-driven effort. Dollars for Change will award more than $250,000 to nonprofits, using a model based on the eight elements of our Healthy Community Framework and placing greater emphasis on benefiting small- and mid-sized organizations.  As the community's foundation, our philanthropy extends to all areas of community life and this approach ensures we can. We are securing our GiveBIG sponsors now and the total amount available through Dollars for Change will be announced shortly before May 10.

What is Dollars for Change?

Dollars For Change is a new donor-driven effort that will award more than $250,000 to nonprofits, using a model based on the eight elements of our Healthy Community Framework and placing greater emphasis on benefiting small- and mid-sized organizations. 

Does my organization need to issue a tax receipt?

Organizations do not need to issue tax receipts. After submitting their donation form, donors will receive an email confirmation that serves as a receipt.

Does Seattle Foundation make any money off of GiveBIG?

Seattle Foundation does not charge nonprofits any fees to participate in GiveBIG, nor does the Foundation take any percentage of the donations made.  

Will donors receive a tax receipt?

All individuals who donate through GiveBIG will receive a tax receipt via email immediately after they make their donation.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes, all donations made through GiveBIGSeattle.org are tax deductible in the full amount (prior to any fees).

Can a donor contribute to more than one nonprofit in just one transaction?

Yes! GiveBIGSeattle.org has a giving cart feature allowing donors to donate to multiple organizations in a single transaction.

Is there early giving?

Yes, donors will have the ability to make an online donation starting on April 27. To schedule a donation, a donor needs to create a simple account on GiveBIGSeattle.org. The donor will receive a confirmation email receipt upon submitting the form. The donation will not be processed until May 10.  

What's the benefit to giving before May 10?

The ability to give early is important to make sure you do not forget to give!  Travel, work and other responsibilities create busy lives and early giving ensures you have the opportunity to donate when it's on the top of your mind. Because these gifts are processed in the early hours of the event, it also helps the nonprofit organization(s) you donate to get a good start to the day and will encourage other donors to give.

If a donor gives before May 10, when will the transaction actually be posted?

The donation will be processed on May 10th in the early morning hours. The donor will receive a receipt confirming that their gift was successfully processed.

Who can donate to GiveBIG?

There are no donor restrictions. Anyone is eligible to donate to an organization participating in GiveBIG.

Can someone donate anonymously?

Yes. On the donation form, there is a check box to mark if a donor would like to donate anonymously. This means the donation will be reported to the organization, but without their name or contact information. The donor will receive a receipt for the donation, but not an acknowledgement for the organization.

Can Seattle Foundation philanthropists use their Donor Advised Funds to make a donation for GiveBIG?

Gifts made through Seattle Foundation donor-advised funds are not counted as part of GiveBIG donations. GiveBIG is for online donations only. Gifts from Donor Advised Funds can be used for nonprofit matching funds, however.

What methods of payment are accepted?

All major credit cards are accepted. An Echeck (electronic check) option is also available, requiring you to enter your banking account information.

Are credit card and eCheck donations subject to a fee?

Yes, online credit card donations for GiveBIG 2017 are subject to a 4.3% fee plus $0.30 per transaction. Echeck donations are subject to a 3.0% fee, not to exceed $5.00 per transaction. Seattle Foundation does not receive a percentage of gifts for supporting and overseeing GiveBIG and does not receive any payment from credit card or eCheck transactions.

Will donors be able to cover the credit card and eCheck processing fee so that the nonprofit doesn't have to pay them?

Yes! When making a donation, donors will be asked if they would like to help cover the processing fees associated with the donation. If the donor responds "yes,"  a 4.3% percent fee plus $0.30 per transaction will be added prior to finalizing the donation for both credit card and eCheck donations. Please note, if the donor pays using eCheck and opts to help cover the processing fees, the fee paid is the same as credit card transactions, 4.3% plus $0.30 per transaction.

Is there a minimum donation amount? Is there a maximum donation amount?

The minimum donation amount is $10. There is no maximum donation amount.

Can I make a donation over the phone?

No, GiveBIG is for online donations only.

What if I can't find the organization I am looking for on the GiveBIG website?

If you can't find the organization you are looking for on the GiveBIG website, it is most likely that the organization did not register for and is not participating in GiveBIG this year.

My company offers an employer matching program. How do I make sure my donation is matched with this program?

If your company offers employer matching contributions, you can indicate this on the donation form using the drop down menu of companies. It is up to you to complete your company's regular employer match process after you make your donation. We gather this information only for our reporting purposes; Seattle Foundation does not request the matching contribution.

What if I need a copy of my GiveBIG 2016 donation/tax receipt?  

Please email Kimbia directly at tkfsupport@kimbia.com.

What if I have more questions?

We are here to help! Please email us at givebig@seattlefoundation.org.