Give Big Gallatin Valley is all about benefiting local nonprofits while making donors feel appreciated for their goodwill. This photo from last year’s GBGV celebration in downtown Bozeman highlights a donor who chose to support ROC Wheels, an organization that specializes in wheelchair manufacturing, wheelchair distributions, youth programs and partnerships in order to provide wheelchairs to severely disabled children in developing countries.


Give a little, give a lot—Give Big!

The countdown is on for the fourth annual Give Big Gallatin Valley event, a 24-hour online and in-person donation celebration on May 3 and 4 put on by the Bozeman Area Community Foundation. The goal? To inspire 4,000 people to raise $1 million for charities from around the region.

   Darby Lacey is the programs manager for BACF, and said the event has grown in leaps and bounds since its first year in 2015. Last year $707,000 was raised for 168 nonprofits, up from $500,000 the year before. “So $1 million as a goal seemed like the next step,” she said. 

   This year, 193 nonprofits joined in, several of those from Big Sky: the Big Sky Community Organization (BSCO), Big Sky Discovery Academy, Thrive-Big Sky, the Arts Council of Big Sky, the Gallatin River Task Force and Morningstar Learning Center.

   The Yellowstone Club Community Foundation is the presenting sponsor for the event. The foundation, which already serves as a resource for nonprofits in Big Sky and beyond, contributed $25,000 to GBGV. Half of those funds went towards working with the nonprofits involved to hone in online social media tactics and the rest funded the prizes involved with the event.

   Britt Ide, executive director of the YCCF, personally enjoys GBGV for a number of reasons. 

   “I just love the concept of the online giving days because it helps all the nonprofits—it helps people be aware of them and all they do for our community, and it’s that time of the year when it’s not the annual giving time or during the summer with all the big gala events,” Ide said. “The other thing I love about it is that it’s really meant to develop new donors. With a $10 minimum, it targets younger donors online and through social media.”

   During the 24-hour period between 6 p.m. on May 3 and 6 p.m. on May 4, donors can log onto and search by name or cause to pick a nonprofit to provide funds to. You can choose any level of support—from $10 to, well, as much as your credit card or bank account limits. 

   “No matter what someone in our community is passionate about, be it fly fishing, clean water, or feeding the community, there is an organization working to make that a reality,” the BACF’s Lacey said of the extensive list of organizations to choose from. 

   A unique aspect of GBGV are the prizes offered to the organizations being donated to. A number of $750 prizes will be granted to the nonprofits for circumstances like the organization with the most donors, the nonprofit who receives a gift at the time closest to official sunrise, or the organization who receives a gift from a first-time donor. The money for the $750 prizes was raised by the BACF and its sponsors, and works as a way to get more people excited about donating. 

   “We really want to incentivize giving, to get people who have never given before to get involved,” Lacey said, noting that a gift of $10 could become an $760 gift if a prize is won along with the donation. “We want donors to feel appreciated, because whatever the amount, their gifts matter.”

   It’s not all online. GBGV also holds donor lounges where social philanthropists can gather and meet representatives of the organizations they support. In Big Sky, a lounge will take place at LUXE Spirits and Sweets on May 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. where donors can offer financial support to all the Big Sky nonprofits involved, with prosecco and sweet treats offered as a little extra incentive.

   Then on May 4, donors can stop by Compass Café from noon to 2 p.m. to support the BSCO. A free dessert or drink will be given to those who donate. Funds raised for the BSCO will go to protect and preserve the Beehive Basin trailhead. Enhancements include additional parking, a bear-proof trash can and restroom. 

   For more information on GBGV, contact Bridget Wilkinson at (406) 587- 6262, or go to  –JP


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