Arts Day of Giving delivers nearly $1.5 million for region’s arts and culture organizations

Friday, October 3, 2014

PITTSBURGH, Pa., October 3, 2014 – Nearly $1.5 million was pumped into the Pittsburgh region’s arts community in one 18-hour period yesterday, validating the fundraising power of the second Arts Day of Giving. A total of 8,208 individual donations received a nearly 25 percent match through the program, referred to, artistically, as ArtDOG, yesterday.

Public contributions as of midnight last night totaled $1,238,923.  The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council sponsored the event for 150 of its member organizations utilizing The Pittsburgh Foundation’s PittsburghGives technology platform, which was revamped with more robust features.  The Heinz Endowments provided a match pool of $250,000 for ArtDOG, and all transaction fees were also covered for each donation made yesterday.

Credit card charitable gifts were processed through a dedicated website for the event. Pittsburgh Foundation officials calculate that the matching contribution will be 23 cents for each dollar donated. All numbers are preliminary and subject to financial and administrative reconciliation by Foundation staff. A final report will be completed early next week.

"Yesterday was an outpouring of civic pride and a true recognition of the importance of arts and culture to our communities,” said Mitch Swain, the Arts Council’s CEO. “We're ecstatic that the number of gifts increased by 25 percent. People really came forward and it's inspiring."

“It took hard work from several organizations and a core group of talented managers to make this event happen as seamlessly as it did,” Pittsburgh Foundation President and CEO Maxwell King said today.  “The phenomenal generosity by individuals, who saw the opportunity to boost support for an amazing range of organizations, should be a clear message to the larger community that the arts are viewed as a critically important measure of quality of life.”

Due to an explosive increase in participation rates since the first event in 2009, The Pittsburgh Foundation adjusted the matching formula for organizations last year.  To ensure a robust match percentage for participating nonprofits, only the first $1,000 each individual donates to an organization is eligible to receive matching dollars from the match pools. Previously, the cap was set at $10,000.

In terms of numbers of gifts received during the event, the leading organization was 90.5 WESA, which received 396 donations amounting to $35,164. Second was the Pittsburgh Symphony which received 395 donations totaling $91,755. Next was WQED Multimedia, 367 donations totaling $42,690; Pittsburgh Public Theater, 226 ($58,440); The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 219 ($64,690); Pittsburgh CLO (Civic Light Opera), 203 ($69,125); 91.3 WYEP, 198 ($15,105); Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, 170 ($35,174); Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra, 166 ($26,128); and Phipps Conservatory, $164 ($25,093).

In an effort to promote smaller organizations, a Small but Mighty category was introduced for organizations with budgets of $100,000 or less.  The category leader was Edgewood Symphony Orchestra with 76 donations totaling $11,005.  Full results for all organizations are available at

Arts Council officials also randomly selected five of the organization’s artist members for the Unleashed Artists Fund, a special pool dedicated to supporting five working artists.  Through the fund, donors were able to support Mike McSorley, (painting); Shaunda Miles, (theater); Sherri Roberts, (fiber); Brian Sesack, (photography); and Lorraine Vullo (installation).  The fund received 62 gifts for a total of $3,195.

PittsburghGives serves as a unique platform for nonprofits to showcase their work in the community, detailing information about their charitable programs, missions, management and finances. PittsburghGives can be accessed at

Since the launch of PittsburghGives in 2009, the on-line site’s giving events have so far raised more than $36 million for the region’s nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation is currently evaluating the program and will make decisions for 2015 later this year.

For further information, contact:

Doug Root
Vice President of Communications
The Pittsburgh Foundation

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