Nonprofits hope to 'spring' fundraising

February 3, 2014 Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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Nonprofits hope to 'spring' fundraising

February 3, 2014 Updated Feb 3, 2014 at 8:34 AM EDT

Buffalo-rea nonprofit agencies are jumping on board for the second annual Spring It On, a one-day, online fundraising blitz powered by social media.

Slated for March 20 - the first day of Spring - the event is coordinated by the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, which hopes to best last year's inaugural event, when 182 nonprofits in Erie and Niagara counties raised more than $76,000.

Organizers hope the campaign grows to produce similar results to other cities: The United Way of Greater Rochester last year generated $780,574 from 8,775 donations at its Roc The Day event.

So far this year's event has attracted 120 agencies, with the total expected to rise in the coming weeks. Participation is open to all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Allegany and Orleans counties, who are encouraged to use social media messaging, website communication and traditional marketing initiatives to point supporters to the springiton.org site.

"It is a great way for non-profit organizations to extend their reach to new audiences through social media and online communications for relatively little investment and it provides a focal point for the community to get mobilized to give," said Michael Weiner, United Way president and CEO. "Even the smallest organization, with focus and creativity, can reach new constituents with their unique story through Spring It On."

Participants design their own fundraising page, set their own dollar goal and can post photos, video and other information about their organization. Already, more than a dozen local sites have been set up, with fundraising goals ranging from $1,500 for the Veterans One-Stop Center of WNY to $10,000 for the Boy Scouts of America Greater Niagara Frontier Council.

In keeping with the social media component of the day, the United Way will post updates on the event in the coming weeks on its Facebook page and Twitter account via #SpringItOn2014.

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