Give Local Bay – which has raised over $1 million since 2015 – is set for May 7

More than a month before Give Local Bay 2024 – an annual 24-hour fundraising campaign coordinated by the Bay Area Community Foundation – opens, organizers and agencies are working behind the scenes.

The Bay Area Community Foundation (BACF) will host its 10th annual Give Local Bay event, a 24-hour fundraising frenzy on Tues, May 7 that will benefit 56 nonprofits in Bay and Arenac counties.

Graphic courtesy of the Bay Area Community FoundationWhile members of the BACF staff organize everything needed for the fundraiser, the nonprofits are gearing up to enter contests to earn even more donations.

The fundraiser’s track record proves its effectiveness, says Maggie Dwan, Donor Relations Officer for the Community Foundation. 

Since the first Give Local Bay event in 2015, the annual campaign has raised more than $1.1 million. For the last four years, the fundraiser has set new records. 

In 2019, people donated $50,000 during Give Local Bay. In 2020, people donated more than $144,000 to nonprofits in Bay and Arenac counties. The total rose again in 2021 when donations topped $161,000. A year ago, people stepped up and gave a record-setting $178,000 during the fundraiser.

“We had 555 donors last year with an average of two donations per donor,” Dwan says. “The average amount raised per nonprofit last year was over $3,000.” 

The event prides itself on making those donation dollars go further. Of the $1.1 million raised since 2015, 30% was contributed by the Bay Area Community Foundation in the form of matching and prize dollars. 

“We are very excited to offer Give Local Bay 2024 to our nonprofit partners,” Dwan says. 

“This year we have 56 participating nonprofit organizations. We currently have $30,000 in our match pool which means that every donation on May 7 will be amplified by BACF and our Match Pool Donors to make an even greater impact. We also have 13 incentive prize opportunities that will be happening pre-event and day of.”

The incentive prize pool is already over $3,000. Already, staff and volunteers at the participating nonprofits are strategizing on how to earn those incentive dollars.

Staff for the Trombley House say Give Local Bay raised money for programs, but also raised community awareness about the facility. (Photo courtesy of the Bay County Historical Society)Folks at the Trombley/Centre House, a first-time Give Local Bay participant in 2023, say it’s well worth the effort. The Trombley House is the oldest frame house still standing in Bay County. It is part of the Historical Society of Bay County.

“The Give Local Bay campaign was a great success last year,” says Jill Pfeiffer, a spokeswoman for the Bay County Historical Society. 

During Give Local Bay 2023, a dozen donors gave $7,450 to the Trombley House.

Give Local Bay also raised awareness about the Trombley House, which is located inside Veterans Memorial Park and used for luncheons, educational programs, and meetings.

“I believe Give Local Bay did raise awareness for the Trombley House,” Pfeiffer says. “Since then, the events held at the house have been well attended. This includes the Annual Ice Cream Social that occurs the second Saturday in September and the holiday events in December.”

This year, Pfeiffer says the Historical Society is working to win some of the pre-event contests.

The Pretty Profile contest asks organizations to create profiles featuring photos and goals. The winners will be chosen on Mon., April 15. Another early contest asks participating nonprofits to share a Facebook poll and gather votes for their agencies. The Social Media Maven contest runs from 9 a.m. Thurs., May 2 through 3 p.m. Mon., May 6. Voting link will be at:

“We are already working on qualifying for the pre-event contest by making the profile pretty,” Pfeiffer says. “Starting next week, social media posts will start regularly appearing on both the Trombley House Facebook page and Bay County Historical Society Facebook page.

Graphic courtesy of the Bay Area Community FoundationSeveral community sponsors have stepped up to make Give Local Bay a success, Dwan adds.

LiUNA Local 1098's sponsorship covers the website processing fees, so 100% of each donation goes toward our nonprofits,” Dwan says. “The current Match Pool Donors, the Luanne and Greg Grocholski Endowed Fund and the Jerome and Annette Crete Family Fund, are donor-advised fund holders at BACF who chose to give to the match pool to help community gifts make an even bigger impact.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides $2,500 in fees for the incentive prizes – we have 13 prizes that are worth $250 each.”

The contests and prizes will be announced on Facebook.

Community members who want to join in the fundraising and fun have three different opportunities:
  1. Go to the Give Local Bay website on Tues., May 7 to choose your favorite organization and make a donation. 
  2. Keep an eye on Facebook to enter contests.
  3. On Tues., May 7, head over to Tri City Brewing Company, 4170 Shrestha Drive, for “Sip Sip Hooray for Give Local Bay.” From 5 to 8 p.m. that day, $1 of every drink sold goes to Give Local Bay matching pool.

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Read more articles by Kathy Roberts.

Kathy Roberts, a graduate of Central Michigan University, moved to Bay City in 1987 to start a career in the newspaper industry. She was a reporter and editor at the Bay City Times for 15 years before leaving to work at the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Covenant HealthCare, and Ohno Design. In 2019, she returned to her storytelling roots as the Managing Editor of Route Bay City. When she’s not editing or writing stories, you can find her reading books, knitting, or visiting the bars of Bay County. You can reach Kathy at