After raising millions for local nonprofits, The Amazing Raise takes final bow

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From left: Amy Singleton of the Community Foundation, Tim Holtz of Richmond Christian Leadership Institute, Delores Kimbrough of the Community Foundation, and Towne Bank President Pat Collins. RCLI won the Million Dollar Baby award for receiving the donation that put the entire event over $1 million in last years Amazing Raise. Photo courtesy of the Community Foundation.

RICHMOND, Va. — Five years after its debut, a well-known local philanthropic event has run its last lap.

The Community Foundation announced Thursday it will discontinue its annual Amazing Raise event, a 36-hour online fundraiser for local nonprofits.

The Amazing Raise has gathered more than $7 million over the course of its five years, benefiting 550 local nonprofits. But Community Foundation CEO Sherrie Brach said the growth rate of donations and participation from local organizations in the annual event has tapered off.

“The Raise has had a really good five-year run,” she said. “It’s generated substantial resources and pulled the community together in a big way.

“In the beginning, we knew it wasn’t something that would go on forever.”

Last year it raised more than $1.8 million from 21,138 donations. In 2014, the event raised $1.74 million from 20,421 donations and $1.55 million from 18,106 donations in 2013.

Last year The Community Foundation invested $220,000 in the Amazing Raise, which included prizes, the technology, marketing expenses and an estimated 700 hours in staff time.

Brach said the organization will be “looking ahead, strategically, about where we want to put our resources.”

One of the Amazing Raise’s goals was to create a “robust database of nonprofits,” so those nonprofits and donors could have easy access to fundraising information. That database will remain in the form of GiveRichmond.org.

The Community Foundation is also working with those local nonprofits that depended on the Amazing Raise to help them cope with losing the event.

“We’re working with them, finding out how this is a challenge – anything we can do to help them through the transition,” Brach said.

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