East Bay Gives

Get out your phone. Ready your finger. Open up your wallet. Don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause.

On Tuesday, May 3, hundreds of people are expected to participate in East Bay Gives, a 24-hour online giving blitz in support of 500 nonprofit organizations throughout Alameda and Contra Costa counties. It’s the third time the East Bay Community Foundation has organized the fundraising campaign as part of Give Local America. The event has raised $850,000 in the last few years.

“We are excited to once again rally thousands of people to raise money for the local nonprofits that make the East Bay a special place to live, work and thrive,” said James W. Head, CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation. “This year, we are aiming to ignite the generosity of even more donors and inspire them to give back and give local.”

One of the pictures The Bread Project put on its Facebook page to promote #Eastbaygives on May 3. Photo: The Bread Project
One of the pictures The Bread Project put on its Facebook page to promote #Eastbaygives on May 3. Photo: The Bread Project

The Bread Project, which trains low-income people for jobs in the food industry, received $5,000 in 2015 from East Bay Gives, said Alicia Polak, its executive director. The organization has had more time to prepare for the donation blitz this year. They have loaded photos on The Bread Project’s Facebook page, sent out tweets, and spread the word further than they did last year. Polak hopes to double or triple the amount raised, she said.

“It would be very, very helpful,” said Polak.

To augment the fundraising day, The Bread Project will open a retail pop-up store from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on May 3 at 1615 University Ave., she said. Customers will be able to purchase the organization’s baked goods, which are normally available only in stores. Some of those goodies include poppy-seed cake, biscuits, muffins and hazelnut financiers. (The Bread Project intends to permanently open a bakery later in 2016.)

It will be very easy to make a donation on East Bay Giving Day. From midnight on May 3 to midnight on May 4, donors can give through their desktops, laptops or download an app on their cell phones by accessing www.eastbaygives.org. Donors then select and contribute to one or more participating nonprofit organizations. More than 500 nonprofits have signed up this year — a record number.

The minimum donation is $20 and must be paid with a credit card. Donations are tax-deductible.

To encourage nonprofits to motivate their supporters, the East Bay Community Fund is handing out prizes. The nonprofit that gets the first donation of the day, for example, will win $500. The organization with the most individual donors between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. will get $3,500. The organization that gets the last donation of the blitz will receive $2,500.

In Berkeley, those nonprofits include The Bread Project, The Berkeley Free Clinic, the Berkeley Symphony, Berkeley Community Media, Berkeley Food and Housing Project, Camp Kesem Berkeley, the Center for Independent Living, Shotgun Players, Seacology, JCC East Bay, Kala Art Institute, Spiral Gardens Community and Food Project, and the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, among others. View a complete listing of nonprofits.

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...