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

Jump to:

GiveBIG Overview
Accessing Your Profile
Technology Platform CiviCore and Payment Processor Stripe
Matching Funds
Dollars for Change
Receipts and Fees
Early Giving

GiveBIG Overview

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 12:00am Pacific Time to 11:59pm 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 GiveBIG 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, eChecks and the processing platform.

Who is Seattle Foundation?

Seattle Foundation ignites powerful, rewarding philanthropy to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. Focused on creating equity and opportunity, our goal as a community foundation is to simplify giving and strengthen the impact of philanthropy for the more than 1,200 individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits we serve.  We provide deep community insights, powerful civic leadership, effective philanthropic advising and judicious stewardship of assets in support of our mission.  In addition, Seattle Foundation annually presents GiveBIG, a 24-hour online giving event to raise funds for area nonprofit organizations.  Learn more at www.seattlefoundation.org.

Accessing your Profile

How does my organization sign up for GiveBIG?

Unfortunately, registration for new nonprofit participants has closed. 

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.

Can I adjust the preset donation amounts on my page?

Unfortunately, the preset donation amounts can't be changed. The donor always has the option to give a different amount. 

Technology Platform and Payment Processor Stripe

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.

When will nonprofits receive funds from GiveBIG?

We anticipate funds will be distributed in late May/early June via ACH (electronic transfer) directly to nonprofit organization bank accounts. The exact distribution date will be determined after May 10.

Is training available for the new website?

During the How to Register for GiveBIG 2017 webinar, Alex from CiviCore walks you through the registration process as well as the steps you need to take to build your organization's new profile. This webinar is available on-demand.

Making the Most of GiveBIG, hosted by Seattle Foundation in partnership with The Ostara Group, focused on getting the most out of your organization's participation in GiveBIG. The workshop was led by Ostara Senior Consultant and individual giving expert, Ariel Glassman. Click here to view the presentation slides from Making the Most of GiveBIG and learn tips on elevating your campaign strategy, leveraging the 1:1 matching gift structure and creating donor communications that stand out in the crowd. 

During the Getting Ready for GiveBIG webinar, Alex from CiviCore walks you through real-time donation reporting, the GiveBIG donation form, matching funds functionality and other day of event details. This webinar is available on-demand.

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. The presentation on securing matching funds is also available.

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


Is there a nonprofit toolkit available?

Yes, the toolkit is available.

What url should my organization use to give donors?

Your nonprofit has a specific link that you can provide donors. You can find this url by searching for your organization on givebigseattle.org, selecting your organization and copying your page's url. A donation button will appear on each organization's page when early giving begins on April 27.

Matching Funds

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 supports this effort by hosting workshops in partnership with The Seattle Times. Included in the workshops was a presentation focused on "Tips for securing matching funds." You can also access presentation materials.

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.

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 and 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.

How can I represent matching funds on CiviCore's platform?

CiviCore's platform offers the opportunity to enter a one-to-one match that will indicate matches for the first donations to an organization. Unfortunately customization of this tool beyond showing a one-to-one match for the first donations is not possible in the platform. Matching grants are processed outside of the GiveBIG platform by nonprofits and the amount is entered into the profile. Nonprofits can enter in the matching amount and the acknowledgment field until April 26.

Dollars for Change

Are you doing Golden Tickets again?

We are not doing Golden Tickets this year. Instead, we are expanding our drawings through Dollars For Change, a new donor-driven effort. Dollars for Change will award more than $350,000 to nonprofits, using a model based on the eight elements of our Healthy Community Framework and, while it will benefit organizations of all sizes, places 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 focus on these elements through GiveBIG. 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 $350,000 to participating King County nonprofits. Using a computer-generated selection process, donors will be chosen to have their contribution to an organization generously boosted with a $2,500 award. These Dollars for Change awards will be made to King County-based organizations across Seattle Foundation's Healthy Community framework and across budget size. Dollars for Change will benefit nonprofits of all sizes, but will place a greater emphasis on small- and mid-sized organizations. This structure aims to bring greater equity in the distribution of additional dollars.  Dollars for Change is an amazing opportunity for nonprofits to receive additional funds that contribute to the important work that you do!

How does Dollars for Change work?

Multiple GiveBIG donors will be chosen every hour over a 15-hour period, starting at 7 a.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 10. The selected donor's gift will be leveraged and the GiveBIG nonprofit they contributed to will receive an additional $2,500 award through Dollars for Change. Donations made up to that point that meet the criteria, including gifts made during the pre-giving period of April 27 - May 9, will be eligible to be selected for Dollars for Change. Unfortunately, as this is a King County event, nonprofits outside of King County are not eligible for Dollars for Change.

The participating organizations will be selected based on several criteria, including that they work within one of the eight elements of our Healthy Community Framework: basic needs, economic opportunity, health and wellness, education, environment, arts and culture, vibrant communities and global giving. Learn more about our Healthy Community Framework

Awards will be given across the following five organization budget categories: $0 - $250,000; $250,000 - $500,000; $500,000 - $750,000; $750,000 - $2.5 million; and more than $2.5 million.

How will my organization be notified if we are selected to receive a Dollars for Change award?  

Seattle Foundation staff will email you and the donor that contributed to your organization.

How will the Dollars for Change money be distributed?  

Awards will be distributed via EFT (electronic funds transfer) in late May/early June directly to the nonprofit organizations' bank accounts, along with the online donations generated through GiveBIG. The exact distribution date will be determined after May 10.

Can my organization receive more than one Dollars for Change award or is it a maximum of $2,500? 

Organizations are limited to a single Dollars for Change award.

How do I make sure my organization fits into the Healthy Community Framework? 

Each nonprofit selects the element which best aligns with their organization's work via their GiveBIG profile. Learn more about Seattle Foundation's Healthy Community Framework.

Who is eligible for Dollars for Change?

Nonprofits must be based in King County, have completed GiveBIG 2017 registration, work within the eight elements of the Healthy Community Framework and receive the selected GiveBIG contribution to be eligible. Contributions made during early giving, April 27 - May 9, are eligible for Dollars for Change awards.

Seattle Foundation employees, family members and board members' donations are not eligible for the Dollars for Change awards. 

Receipts and Fees

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 donors who donate through GiveBIG on May 10 will receive a tax receipt via email immediately after they make their donation. If a donor schedules a donation, they will receive an email confirmation immediately after scheduling the donation and a tax receipt via email on May 10 after the donation has been processed. The receipt will be sent to the email address the donor registered with. 

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

Yes, donors can add as many donations as they would like and enter their credit card information once. Donors simply click the "add more nonprofits" button! When they're finished adding donations, donors will click "checkout".

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. Echeck donations are subject to a 3.0% fee. 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.

Can donors help cover the credit card and eCheck processing fee?

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 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%.

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

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

What should we do if a donation was made in error or needs to be adjusted?

Please email givebig@seattlefoundation.org and we will work with CiviCore and Stripe to adjust your donation. 

Early Giving

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

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

Please search for your receipt below

What if I have more questions?

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