UPDATE (06/29/16 at 1:30 p.m.)
As we all know, technology threw us a curve ball for 2016. We all had to pivot to Plan B, and we were impressed with the flexibility and resilience we saw in your efforts. Among our Plan B activities was reassigning the purpose of many of our time-sensitive prizes. The full list of prizes is available below.

Some new prize names you will see are Making Lemons from Lemonade, Most Creative Campaign Honorable Mention, 1st Year Participant Most $ Raised. In reassigning the prizes, we tried to recognize the spirit of the original awards as well as consider efforts that didn’t exclusively focus on money raised.

This year, 97 different organizations received incentive prize awards as compared to 79 organizations last year.

Thank you! Thank you! Your creativity and efforts this year truly inspired us. We are committed to The Big Payback 2017, and we are currently evaluating what the technology, timing, and training look like for next year. In the meantime, know that we continue to monitor thebigpayback@cfmt.org for your questions.

View Prize List

UPDATE (05/19/16 at 1:30 p.m.)
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The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee announces impact of The Big Payback despite nationwide technical difficulties.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Thanks to the generosity of Middle Tennessee donors and the hard work of participating nonprofits, The Big Payback 2016 remained a big success despite debilitating nationwide technical difficulties.

The third annual giving day on May 3 has brought in more than $2.61 million thus far from 11,270 gifts, nearly matching last year’s record $2.64 million total despite the giving website being operational for only nine hours.

“If you ever doubted what good can occur when we come together to make things happen, remember this giving day,” Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, said in a news briefing today at the organization's Green Hills office.

“Congratulations to the 770 local nonprofits participating,” Lehman continued. “I know how hard you all worked to make the day such a success. And congratulations to all who will benefit from the services offered by these nonprofits, which make this the place we all want to call home.”

The third annual giving event was on a record-setting pace of raising funds before a national vendor-based giving website crashed about midmorning on May 3.

The Big Payback site was run by a national company named Kimbia, and it was serving 54 cities and communities across the country in this way on that date.

With an overwhelming vote of nonprofit partners polled late in the afternoon that day, the decision was made to end the campaign early. Subsequently, the nonprofits were encouraged to continue to solicit and accept donations toward the event through noon on May 5 through a variety of ways.

The participating nonprofits, as well as The Community Foundation, have been gathering and tallying the results ever since to real raised for local nonprofits.

Read Full News Release

UPDATE (05/05/16 at 4:00 p.m.)
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Middle Tennessee! Thank you for your generosity and for your compassion during this year's ‪#‎BigPayback‬ giving day.

Due the variety of ways our participants were collecting donations this year, we will need some time to report the numbers to you. Thank you for your patience. ‪#‎GivingAlwaysMatters‬

UPDATE (05/04/16 at 2:00 p.m.)

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In the spirit of collaboration and giving, we'd like to capture Tuesday’s momentum and encourage you to continue the Giving Day until noon Thursday, May 5.

The Big Payback has never been about a website. It’s about the spirit of giving and collaboration, the role of digital resources in raising awareness for giving, and ultimately, the extraordinary work that nonprofits do in Middle Tennessee.

Although The Big Payback website is no longer available, we’d like to encourage donors to give through the variety of ways that are available:

  • Participating nonprofit website
  • GivingMatters.com
  • Cash or check delivered to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee office during normal business hours before noon on Thursday, May 5. The Community Foundation is located at 3833 Cleghorn Ave. Nashville, TN 37215

We were inspired by the support shown throughout Middle Tennessee for Tuesday’s Giving Day. While the day clearly did not go as planned, we set out to mobilize giving and we did. Giving was the word of the day, and a tremendous amount of money -- well over $1 million -- was raised for local nonprofits.

Many of you have asked about prizes. All prizes that were awarded before 9 a.m. will remain intact, and we will continue to work toward a structure that reflects the intent of the original prize structure. Please be assured that all intended prize money will awarded.

Tuesday’s generosity was truly outstanding. Let's collectively keep it going until Thursday, May 5 at noon.

UPDATE (05/03/16 at 7:30 p.m.)

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has decided to end its 24-hour online giving campaign, The Big Payback, early today due to nationwide technical difficulties.

"We so appreciate the kindness and generosity of the hundreds of people who stayed up in the wee hours of the morning to support their favorite nonprofits,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

"These people literally lost sleep in an effort to improve their community, and we salute them,” Lehman continued. “Starting about 9 a.m., we encountered technical difficulties, which stemmed largely from the rush of Middle Tennesseans eager to make a difference.

"We gave a party, and everybody came.”

With the overwhelming vote of the nonprofit partners polled late this afternoon, the decision was made to end the 24-hour giving campaign early.

"There really is an incredible, positive story in the midst of all this aggravation."

It is not that any nonprofits did anything wrong or that donors haven't been giving, Lehman emphasized.

"The fact is that from the first moments, we knew we were going to be busy,” she said.

The Big Payback was on a record-setting pace of raising funds for 770 participating area nonprofits in Middle Tennessee before experiencing nationwide technical difficulties.

The Big Payback site is run by a national company named Kimbia, and it was serving 54 communities in this way today.

The third annual event was well on its way to surpassing 2015’s $2.64 million total in Middle Tennessee before the national vendor-based giving website site crashed about midmorning.

For example:

— There were 150 gifts in the first five minutes.

— About $15,000 was raised in the first 12 minutes.

— In the first three hours (midnight to 3 a.m.), The Big Payback had 701 gifts totaling

    $55,702 — which came to 233 gifts per hour and $18,567.33 per hour.

— In the next 30 minutes, 97 gifts and an additional nearly $9,000 were raised.

— The event surpassed 1,000 gifts and $100,000 before 6 a.m.

— Comparing the results at 8 a.m. Tuesday with 8 a.m. last year, the totals had   

     increased $57,000 compared to 2015’s The Big Payback.

"The great news is that we live in a very generous community, in a singularly generous country. The bad news is that this throng of giving overloaded the system nationwide," Lehman noted.

"For example, Kimbia had six million gifts to process at one time between 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. That's a staggering amount, which apparently, literally, staggered them,” she said.

"The Community Foundation Team discussed what our plan would be for extending the day or changing course, so that we might make up for lost time — so that the many donors who were anxiously waiting to make gifts to local organizations may do so sooner rather than later,” Lehman continued.

"But ultimately, we realized that we couldn't be sure Kimbia's system wouldn't crash again … so we polled local nonprofits who voted to 'Call the game and start again another day' with a system in which we had full confidence."

Said Lehman: "We don't want to lose the enthusiasm of the day, and encourage donors to visit their favorite nonprofit’s website, or their GivingMatters.com profile, to give directly. We also encourage nonprofits to direct donors to those sites as well.

"Thank you all for your support of The Big Payback and for hanging with us,” Lehman said. "We are proud to live and serve in Middle Tennessee."

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit www.cfmt.org.

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