Each year, United Way of Greater Knoxville (UWGK) hosts the Big Give, a 24-hour Giving Tuesday campaign designed to raise funds and awareness for our local nonprofit community. This year’s Big Give, presented by First Horizon for the fourth year in a row, brought together nonprofits, businesses and community members for an impactful day of giving back.

On Tuesday, November 28, donations came pouring in at the very beginning of the day. Thanks to over 1,200 generous donors, 104 nonprofits raised $300,000 in donations that will directly support the East Tennessee community.

During the day awards are given to participating nonprofits. Friends of Literacy, a nonprofit that aims to decrease literacy disparities, won the “Hungry for a Change” Prize and explained how valuable this event is to the community: “We get new donors through The Big Give every year–and even more people reach out to us afterward to ask about volunteering and other ways they can help support us,” said Teresa Brittain, Executive Director. “The exposure provided by United Way leading up to and during the event helps us share our story with people in our community who have never heard of Friends of Literacy.”

While the Big Give only lasts one day, its impact will continue, providing ongoing support to local families throughout the year. “We raised the bar this year, asking our community to show up for us and support the Big Give, and they did it,” said Matt Ryerson, President and CEO of UWGK. “We saw an increase in the number of donors by 24 percent. We also saw more donations than our previous year and a 50 percent increase in first time Big Give donors,” Ryerson added. “We want to thank all the individuals and partners who made the Big Give a success. Thank you for being so committed to building a stronger, more vibrant Knoxville.” 

Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont landed number one in the Big Give leaderboard this year, receiving more donations than any other nonprofit organization; they also were awarded the “Rush Hour” award for receiving more online donations during 7 a.m.- 8 a.m. “The Big Give allows Tremont Institute to tap into an exciting network of generous folks in the region looking for ways to give back to their community,” said Megan Womack, Development Director for Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. “The Big Give allows us to tell the story of our work in the Smokies, putting it into perspective for potential new donors.”

Many other nonprofits reached the Big Give leaderboard, recognition well deserved for the amount they raised and how they mobilized their community to fundraise. Some at the top were Street Hope TN, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, Susannah’s House, Random Acts of Flowers, and Young-Williams Animal Center.

Even though Giving Tuesday is over, there is still time to give; visit our site, and choose a nonprofit to support. Be sure to do so before December 4, when the doors officially close for the Big Give.