FAQs

What is Omaha Gives?

Omaha Gives! is a 24-hour, online giving event organized annually by the Omaha Community Foundation to grow philanthropy in the metro area (Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties). The event will take place this year on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum. Prize money will be made available to amplify charitable donations. The goal is to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to contribute as many charitable dollars as possible to support the work of local nonprofit organizations. Omaha Gives! is based on other successful giving days hosted by community foundations across the country.

How does it work?

The Omaha Community Foundation has set up an online giving platform at omahagives.org with searchable profiles of participating nonprofits. All donations will be processed through this website, which allows nonprofits and donors to track the giving on May 23 via the site’s leaderboards. Anyone can donate to their favorite participating nonprofits via omahagives.org.

Who created Omaha Gives?

The Omaha Community Foundation organized the event and created the online giving platform omahagives.org. The Foundation’s mission is to promote local philanthropy. We serve over 1,400 donors that give through the Foundation to local nonprofits. The Omaha Community Foundation works with local foundations, donors, and corporations to underwrite the event and secure prize money. For more information about the Omaha Community Foundation, visit OmahaFoundation.org.

Why give through OmahaGives.org?

We encourage the support of local nonprofits with year-round giving, but Omaha Gives! was created as a charitable holiday. It’s our day to celebrate Omaha’s spirit of generosity and support the work of nonprofits. Plus, gifts made through omahagives.org will be amplified by participation prizes, hourly drawings, and nonprofit Challenge Funds.

How are donations amplified?

Participating organizations are encouraged to fundraise for their own Challenge Funds, which will allow donations to an organization to go even further! Organizations with these additional incentive funds available will have a “Challenge Funds” designation on their organization profile.

How do nonprofits qualify for prizes?

PARTICIPATION PRIZES – Nonprofits will be divided into three categories – small (annual operating budget under $100,000), medium (annual operating budget between $100,000 and $500,000), and large (annual operating budget of $500,000 or more). 45 prizes of $1,000 each will be awarded to the nonprofits attracting the highest number of donors in these categories during three periods throughout the day (12am-8am, 8am-4pm, 4pm-12am). Once a nonprofit has received a participation prize, they will not be eligible to receive another one.  Note: multiple gifts from the same donor only count as one unique donor.

OMAHA STEAKS–STEAKS FOR GOOD 48 HOURLY DRAWINGS – Each hour, two donations will be randomly selected to receive an additional $1000 added to it, for a total of $48,000 in hourly prizes. Once a nonprofit has received an hourly prize, they will not be eligible to receive another one.

NEW! 7 CHEER PAGE PRIZES – New Cheer Pages with fundraising dates starting on (or after) May 1st and ending on May 23rd are eligible to win one of seven $1,000 prizes! Three prizes will be awarded based on the cheer pages that raise the most dollars. Four prizes will be awarded based on cheer pages with the most unique donors giving through the cheer page. Cheer pages set up by individuals employed by the nonprofit receiving funds are not eligible. 

Eligibility
New Cheer Pages must be set up for the Omaha Gives event period May 1st through May 23rd. Cheer pages set up before that period are not eligible. 
Cheer pages set up by an employee or a volunteer serving as the executive director of a nonprofit are not eligible. Nonprofits receiving prizes must verify that the person setting up the page is not an employee or a volunteer serving as an executive director. If a conflict of interest emerges, OCF will exercise some discretion in determining eligibility if the person setting up the cheer page has a direct affiliation with the nonprofit winning the prize. 
A cheer page campaign is eligible to win even if the nonprofit has won an hourly or participation prize. Cheer page prizes are an additional incentive for supporters to share their excitement about the work nonprofits are doing in our community. 
 
Process
At the conclusion of the 24-hour event, OCF will review Cheer Pages and select the top 4 pages with the highest number of unique donors and the top 3 pages that have raised the most. 
OCF will announce winners via social media and a leaderboard icon as soon as this information has been determined. 
OCF will send an email to verify eligibility of the selected winners. Nonprofits will be required to confirm their eligibility no later than noon on May 24th after which time another winner will be selected. 
 

Donor Information

Who can make a donation on Omaha Gives?

Anyone can donate to a nonprofit that has a profile on omahagives.org. You do not have to have an Omaha Community Foundation account or live in the Omaha area to donate.

How can I make a donation?

The website is a year-round platform so you can give to your favorite nonprofits anytime! To participate in the 24-hour challenge on May 23, there are several ways to give:

Donations must be made using a credit card, EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)/eCheck, or OCF account. Cash and check donations are not eligible for Omaha Gives! incentives, nor will they be represented in nonprofit totals on the leaderboard. You can search for a nonprofit by name, keyword, cause type, or county.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Donations through Omaha Gives! are 100% tax deductible. Once your credit card or EFT donation is processed, you will receive an email confirming the deduction from the Omaha Community Foundation. Please save this email for your records. By selecting a specific charity to receive your donation, your gift is restricted for that charity and will not be given to any other charity. You cannot designate your donation for a specific program at a nonprofit.

What are the minimum and maximum donation amounts?

The minimum donation amount is $10. There is no maximum donation. All gifts made on omahagives.org are non-refundable.

How much of my donation goes to the nonprofit?

For every donation made with a credit card, 2.99% will be deducted to cover a third-party credit card processing fee. For Electronic Fund Transfer/eCheck donations, 0.99 % will be deducted to cover processing fees. There are no fees deducted from donations made through OCF donor accounts.

Why is there a fee on donations made through omahagives.org?

The Omaha Community Foundation is committed to transparency about the costs of online fundraising for Omaha Gives! The fees charged on omahagives.org have two components – a third-party merchant processing fee and an operating fee that helps underwrite the giving platform.

Credit card transaction fees:  2.2% merchant processing + 0.79% operating.

Electronic funds transfer transaction fees:  0.75% merchant processing + 0.24% operating.

The Omaha Community Foundation leverages its own resources to support and subsidize the cost of the giving day. To assist in covering these costs, a small percentage of each donation will go towards underwriting the cost of Omaha Gives! The Foundation works to ensure that Omaha Gives! is a cost-effective and successful fundraising day for all nonprofits involved. Our processing fees are one of the lowest in the country for giving platforms.

What organizations are participating in Omaha Gives?

Organizations that are headquartered or provide services in the Omaha area (Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties) are invited to register for Omaha Gives! The Omaha Community Foundation verifies that each participant is a 501(c)(3) public charity in compliance with IRS 990 requirements.

Can I give to more than one organization?

You may make donations to multiple organizations. Only the nonprofits registered on omahagives.org may receive gifts during this event. You can add multiple organizations to your “cart” as you’re browsing the participants for added convenience when submitting donations. Creating a donor profile on omahagives.org allows you to schedule donations, save payment and contact information, record your favorite organizations, and review your donations.

Can I make a recurring gift?

Yes. Our platform allows you to give to your favorite nonprofits year-round! The option to make a recurring gift is located on the donation form. Once you choose "yes," you set the first installment date. Then, choose how often you would like the donation to repeat (monthly or quarterly), and for what duration of time. Note: Only the initial gift installment on May 23 will count towards the 2018 Omaha Gives! event.

What if I can’t find my favorite nonprofit on the Omaha Gives! site?

While we encourage participation in Omaha Gives! it is not required that nonprofits participate. If your favorite nonprofit does not have a profile on the Omaha Gives! site, you cannot use omahagives.org to donate to them and they will not be eligible for prizes on May 23. We’re happy to assist you with your charitable giving outside of Omaha Gives! Please email us at giving@omahafoundation.org for more information.

Can I donate using my phone?

Yes. Omahagives.org is a “mobile optimized platform” that will make it easy to make a gift on your smartphone.

Is my gift safe and secure?

Yes. The omahagives.org website is supported by CiviCore, and is an SSL secured site. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

What is the Promo Code or Employer Match Code?

We have developed a tool as part of this year’s event that allows donors to tag specific donations with a Promo Code, thereby sharing some of the donation information with participating Business Partners for purposes of special charitable drawings or matching employee gifts. Promo Code details will be shared by participating Business Partners.  Each Business Partner will have access to a list of donations processed with their unique Promo Code.  This list includes donor name, donation amount, recipient organization, donor email, and donation timestamp, and excludes donor information on those who wish to remain anonymous.

Beyond a donation, how can I support my favorite nonprofit on this day?

You can spread the word among your friends and networks about Omaha Gives! and the good work nonprofits do in our community. Your favorite nonprofit may also have an online media campaign or other ideas to promote the day. The Toolkits portion of omahagives.org provides additional materials, templates and samples to support your efforts.

Can I become a fundraiser for my favorite nonprofit during Omaha Gives?

Yes. We’re excited to offer individuals the opportunity to create Personal Cheer Pages to support their favorite nonprofits. The feature allows you to set your own fundraising goal for a chosen nonprofit and accept donations from friends and family directly to your personal fundraising page on omahagives.org. To set up a Cheer Page, you will first need to create an Omaha Gives! donor profile. Once your profile is set up, navigate to the “My Cheer Pages” tab of your account and click on “Create A Cheer Page.” Choose your nonprofit, create a page title and custom URL, and set your fundraising goal. When your Cheer Page is ready you will submit it to the nonprofit for approval and can start to spread the word!

I have a charitable giving account at the Omaha Community Foundation. Can I use it for Omaha Gives?

Yes. Donations made via an OCF account will not be subject to transaction fees.

How will I be recognized as a donor?

You will receive an immediate thank you and tax receipt from the Omaha Community Foundation. Your chosen nonprofits may also send a thank you to let you know how your donation will make a difference. You can choose to make an anonymous donation if you prefer. Anonymous donors will receive a tax receipt, but will not receive a thank you from the nonprofit organization to which they contributed.

Does it cost anything to give on omahagives.org?

There is no fee to you as a donor. You will receive an immediate thank you and tax receipt for 100% of your donation. A 2.99% credit card transaction fee will be deducted from each credit card transaction, and a 0.99% fee will be deducted from EFT/eCheck donations.

How can the community support Omaha Gives?

The Omaha Community Foundation hosts Omaha Gives as part of our mission of inspiring giving throughout the Metro area and celebrating the community’s nonprofits. This year, we’ve provided an opportunity for anyone in the community to support Omaha Gives! by adding an optional donation during the checkout process that would go directly towards subsidizing the costs associated with the giving day.

During the checkout process, you will be asked if you would like to Donate to Omaha Gives!. If you choose to donate, you can select an amount of your choosing for a one-time donation to the Omaha Community Foundation. This donation will be added to your total. If you select to make a recurring gift, your donation to the Foundation will only apply to the first gift made at this time. By supporting Omaha Gives! you are helping us to support our region’s wonderful nonprofit community!

Nonprofit Information

What organizations are eligible to participate?
How does my organization register to participate?

Registration closes on March 1, 2018. Organizations are required to complete a registration form at omahagives.org by that date. Organizations are not approved for participation until their profile is visible at omahagives.org.

If my organization participated last year, do we need to register?

If you participated last year, no additional action is necessary to participate in 2018! However, we strongly encourage you to visit the site and ensure your nonprofit profile is filled out and up-to-date, including an accurate logo and description.

Why should my organization participate?

Omaha Gives! is your opportunity to

What is required for organizations to participate? Is there a fee?

There is no fee for your organization to participate. However, you should prepare to devote time and energy to promoting Omaha Gives! among your donors and social networks. The Omaha Community Foundation will provide a communications toolkit to participating organizations, as well as host training sessions to educate you on the giving platform and how to be successful through Omaha Gives!

How much of the donations go to my organization?

Your organization will receive at least 97.01% of the total donations received the day of the event and 100% of any prize money obtained during the event. There will be a credit card transaction fee of 2.99% deducted from the amount donated to your organization via credit card and a 0.99% fee deducted from EFT/eCheck donations to cover processing fees. There are no fees deducted from donations made through OCF donor accounts.

Why did you retire the Bonus Dollar Fund?   

Over the years as Omaha Gives has grown in size, the monetary value of the “bonus dollars fund” divvied out to the participating nonprofits has dwindled. While the bonus pool shared by all participating nonprofits was helpful in the early days of Omaha Gives!, the ability to offer these funds at a level that is beneficial to all participating nonprofits has become more challenging. After evaluating survey results, listening to nonprofit feedback, and holding a series of nonprofit focus groups in the fall of 2016, we made the decision to retire the bonus funds pool before the 2017 Omaha Gives. However, we have doubled the number of hourly prizes we offer from 24 prizes to 48 prizes. Coupled with Participation Prizes and Challenge Funds, we believe there are still ample opportunities to successfully incentivize both nonprofits and donors to participate in the giving day.

What’s the benefit to participating in Omaha Gives! if you no longer offer Bonus Funds?

Omaha Gives! is one of the largest giving days in the country. Since its inception in 2013, it has grown in both size and scope, raising more than $35 million for Omaha-area nonprofits. On this one day, more than 20,000 people are focused on the nonprofit community thanks to the efforts of our media sponsors, event sponsors, and the participating nonprofits. In 2017, 33% of donations were first-time donations to nonprofits which resulted in nearly $1 million in new giving. This community-wide celebration is the only day fully focused on the incredible work of local nonprofits in our region.

How can I help make the day a success for my organization and our community?

Once you have set up your organization profile at omahagives.org, you will have access to a toolkit for making the day a success for your organization. If you are not currently on social media, set up accounts for your organization now. The Omaha Community Foundation will provide a communications toolkit to participating organizations, as well as host trainings to educate you on the giving platform and how to be successful through Omaha Gives! Finally, get excited and have fun – this is your charitable holiday, a great big give-together!

Can my organization host a special event?

Yes! We encourage you to plan an event, partner with other participating nonprofits, or connect with a local business to raise awareness about Omaha Gives!

Can we encourage donations by giving away prizes or free gifts?

No. All gifts made during Omaha Gives! must be 100% tax deductible. You cannot offer a premium for gifts made during the event.

Participating organizations are also encouraged to raise their own Challenge Funds, which will allow donations to go even further! Organizations that have additional incentive funds available will have a “Challenge Funds” designation on their organization profile.

When will my organization receive their Omaha Gives! donations?

You will receive all donations and prize money in a single disbursement by July 15, 2018. All disbursements will be made by check. Please be patient as our finance department performs a financial reconciliation on all transactions. To ensure accuracy, this process takes some time as the event continues to grow.

What if the amount my nonprofit expected based on the initial Omaha Gives! results does not match the final disbursement?

Although each nonprofit will be able to see their gifts in real time, please be aware that reconciliation must be completed and, even though gifts are considered nonrefundable, a donation can be revoked for a variety of reasons from the time of receipt to the time of disbursement. Therefore, donation reports cannot be considered final until the nonprofit receives the disbursement from the Omaha Community Foundation. Participating organizations will have access to all donation information, with the exception of contact information of those donors who prefer to remain anonymous.

Does my organization need to send letters for their tax deductions?

No. The donor will immediately receive an email confirming the gift receipt from the Omaha Community Foundation during the event. Note that all donations must be 100% tax deductible (no additional benefits). We strongly encourage you to acknowledge donations by following-up with donors to thank them and let them know how their gifts will fuel your mission.

Will my organization receive donor information for acknowledgments?

Yes, you will have access to donor information. We encourage you to reach out to your donors after the event and thank them for supporting them your organization.

What if I still have questions about Omaha Gives?

Contact the Omaha Community Foundation, at (402) 342-3458 or email omahagives@omahafoundation.org.