Giving thanks after holidays

Nevadans will get another chance to show how big their hearts are April 25

Bruce Spotleson

Bruce Spotleson

Suddenly, it’s that season again, when the business world relaxes just a bit and succumbs to tradition. Business meetings soon will give way to the holidays’ more jubilant gatherings as we wave goodbye to 2012 and join in the optimism of a new year.

We initiate all this with a day of gratitude, when many of us — but by no means all of us — stop to contemplate the things we are thankful for. As we will be reminded throughout the coming season, good fortune is not equally rationed.

For anyone familiar with our list of challenges, our state’s needs can seem intimidating, making one occasionally wonder how to make a dent. But the opportunity to make a measurable impact is precisely the reason behind an event that kicked off Oct. 31, the date that used to be known as Nevada Day but which now is relegated to the Halloween status of other states.

The bright and shiny Las Vegas City Hall acted as the setting for the formalities announcing Nevada’s Big Give, which will be April 25. As calendars go, that’s still a little ways off. But in this season of both thanks and giving, it’s worth marking the date.

This will be the second time around for the one-day, 24-hour statewide initiative that raised $413,000 last year to benefit charities across the state. The goal in 2013 is to double that, of course.

Designed and developed by NevadaGIVES, an organization that promotes philanthropy and volunteerism, the event is a high-visibility promotion of giving, with the goal of bringing new dollars and donors to nonprofit organizations here.

Every registered 501(c)(3) organization in the state is eligible to receive donations. Donors can contribute online at with a simple point and click. That’s a big key to the program’s success, said Stacey Wedding, a past president of NevadaGIVES.

“Make it simple. Make it fun. Raise awareness for charities,” she said.

Another strategy is to hold the event immediately after tax season ends.

“It doesn’t matter how much you give, and it’s not about the largest donors,” Wedding said. “It’s about activating the average person who doesn’t otherwise know how to give. They can go on and donate $10 or whatever their comfort level is. They know it’s going to a good cause.”

In 2011, 2,306 donors participated and more than 460 charities benefited. Next year, organizers hope to raise the bar with the help of celebrity supporters. Cirque du Soleil, ventriloquist Terry Fator and Holly Madison all have agreed to lend a hand.

So can you. One of the goals next year is to get more businesses and employees involved.

Thanks and giving aren’t just for the holidays.