One big thing that happened this past GiveNOLA Day was a computer glitch that affected giving campaigns in 47 cities across the country, including New Orleans. But something else happened that was completely remarkable.

Four million dollars happened.

Nonprofit organizations across Southeast Louisiana rallied, donors redoubled their efforts, and $4 million was raised for 713 charities providing services in the arts, education, human services and a host of other areas critical to the well-being of our region.

How do you explain our success? Perhaps it’s because as New Orleanians, we persevere in the face of adversity. After all, we live with swarming termites, killer potholes, hurricanes and heat waves. We dance knee-deep in mud at Jazz Fest and watch Mardi Gras parades in the pouring rain.

Something as mundane as a computer glitch is not going to stop us from being the people who love to give and give to love. Our bandwidth of generosity is limitless.

Nonprofit organizations participating in GiveNOLA Day distinguished themselves by going into overdrive and redirecting their supporters toward alternate ways to give.

These nonprofits fired up their own websites, communicated on social media accounts, picked up the phone, sent emails and hand-delivered pledge forms. They set a national example for initiative, creativity and hard work.

“Among all the other participating cities, New Orleans was exceptional in how they worked quickly to create alternative giving methods,” said Lori Finch, marketing director of Kimba, the technology partner for the giving day. “They really jumped through hoops to capture donations from the giving community.”

Going forward, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, host of GiveNOLA Day, will carefully study ways to mitigate future risks, helping to ensure a smooth giving experience for all who open their hearts and empty their pockets during this great celebration of giving.

Over 20,000 people participated in this year’s GiveNOLA Day, with strong representation from the Bayou region (host of GiveBayou) and the Northshore (Give Northshore).

From the bottom of our heart to yours. Thank you. No, 4 million thank yous.

Martha Landrum

Greater New Orleans Foundation

New Orleans