Give Local Bay 2020 sets a new record for donations

The Bay Area Community Foundation set a new record for an annual fundraiser despite being held in the midst of a pandemic.

The Bay Area Community Foundation’s 6th annual Give Local Bay event, powered by LiUNA-Local 1098, raised a record amount of more than $144,000 for Bay and Arenac nonprofits.

The 2019 event raised $50,000. This year, people in the community donated more than $116,000 during the 24-hour event. The Foundation offered an additional $28,000 in incentive funds and prizes.

“Give Local Bay provided a way for us to unite in a positive way as a community,” said Diane Fong, president and CEO of the Bay Area Community Foundation.

“The generosity and the outpouring of support we saw is a recognition and celebration of the critical work our nonprofits do day in and day out. Great things happen when we come together.”

Throughout the day, individuals made donations online and over the phone to support their favorite organizations. The initial goal was $55,000. But the Foundation staff had to set new goals through the day as donors kept surpassing the totals.

The Bay Area Community Foundation provided an additional $25,000 incentive pool as well as $3,000 in additional fund prizes. The organizations that raised the most money during the event are BaySail, Bay City Players, and Ye Olde Courthouse/Arenac County Historical Society.  Final results are available at

Tracy Teich, Bay City Players treasurer, said the community theater group was thrilled with the response. Jessica McFarland, Players marketing chair, highlighted favorite shows from the past on Facebook throughout the campaign.

"We are so grateful to the many donors who supported us – many of whom showed up as 'anonymous' on our report so we won’t be able to thank them all individually," Teich said.

"We are also grateful to the Bay Area Community Foundation for making the funds immediately available to us to address the COVID-19 impacts. We obviously have no money coming in right now from ticket sales, so these funds will help us sustain our facility and payroll over the next few months.

In addition to the money that went to area non-profits, donors also raised more than $4,000 for the COVID-19 Community Response Fund at the Bay Area Community Foundation. The fund awards grants to local nonprofits to help the people and families who are most impacted by the pandemic and its economic consequences.

The Bay City Rowing Club won the LiUNA-Local 1098 sponsor prize by being the first to surpass $1,098 in online gifts. The Bay City Hall Maintenance Fund won the “Most Creative Post” prize for a video the City of Bay City produced about coming together to support the community. You can view the video on the Bay City Government’s Facebook page.

Sponsors of the event and donors to the prize and incentive funds include:

  • LiUNA—Local 1098
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • McLaren Bay Region
  • Rowley’s Wholesale
  • Warner Norcross + Judd