Nationwide Fundraiser's Websites Crash During One-Day 'Give Local America' Event
Give Local America, a single-day online fundraising event that enlists communities nationwide to crowdfund for participating nonprofits, took a hit this week when its websites crashed on event day.
The May 3 event, held in 54 different communities across the U.S. and hosted by technology provider Kimbia, last year raised $68.5 million for more than 9,000 nonprofits and this year had 13,000 participating organizations. Expectations were high. But according to Kimbia, a hardware issue arose about 10 hours into the 24-hour event, impacting the platform's form-delivery capabilities and causing major donation-processing delays.
“The online traffic was just far greater than they anticipated,” Riley Meredith, marketing and communications director for the Montana Community Foundation, told Great Falls Tribune. “It was just so heavy that it kind of broke the system.”
Kimbia ruled out security issues early on and took steps to mitigate further risk. The company removed affected hardware and reduced online-leaderboard functionality, focusing its efforts entirely on restoring its ability to process donation forms.
By evening, Kimbia said it had fully restored donation-processing functionality. But some organizations had already put their efforts on hold. The Pittsburgh Foundation, which runs its Day of Giving program through an online portal affected by the outages, said it was on track to raise $1.5 million before the technical issues occurred. The foundation suspended the program and promised to reschedule.
"While I very much regret having to suspend our participation, I recognize that we need to be able to maintain the high standards of performance and donor experience that we know nonprofits and those they support expect in this annual event," Maxwell King, foundation president and CEO, said in a statement. "It is for that reason that we are the first among participating foundations to pull out of the event."
Still, other nonprofits soldiered on, extending their events past the original 24-hour window. The move seems to have paid off:
— CT Community Fdn (@CCF1923) May 5, 2016
Our total given now stands at $1,455,101! Not bad! We are still working on a final number.
— Kitsap Great Give (@KitsapGreatGive) May 5, 2016
— Centre Foundation (@CentreFNDN) May 5, 2016
Kimbia said that despite the technical issues, it was able to process $29 million in Give Local America donations on May 3, with more to come.
"Many of our community partners chose to extend their events beyond May 3, and at this time we are still processing donations for a few of them and their participating nonprofits," Kimbia said in a statement. "We are looking forward to the official completion of the event so that we can get the final tally and provide clarity into the results of our participants."