What's happening with GiveBIG?


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Some of you experienced technical challenges while trying to make a gift to support that journalism yesterday during GiveBIG, so the Seattle Foundation has extended their day of giving through tonight at midnight.

That means you can still make a gift today that will be stretched by the over $1 million of GiveBIG stretch funds. We appreciate your support today to make Crosscut’s award-winning, independent coverage possible.

I know you may have concerns about what happened yesterday and why, so have included a few of the GiveBIG questions we’ve received from readers below. If I’ve missed something that you’re wondering about, please feel free to email me directly at tamara.powerdrutis@crosscut.com and I’ll hunt down the answers for you personally.

Popup lemonade


I still haven’t received an email confirmation for my gift, does that mean it didn’t go through?

Email confirmations are now being sent immediately. Some folks experienced delays yesterday, and a batch of email confirmations went out this morning to donors who had not yet received them. If you're still not sure if your gift went through, shoot me an email at tamara.powerdrutis@crosscut.com and I’ll personally check to see.

I think I was charged twice (or more) when I was trying to make just one gift. What should I do?

You can request a duplicate receipt at seattlefoundation.org, on the right hand side of the page half way down. You'll enter your email address and receipts will be sent. The Seattle Foundation team has been working today to correct any duplicate charge issues.

What was the technical glitch?

According to Kimbia, “the root cause of the issue now appears to be a hardware issue on one of our hosted database nodes which caused a cascading effect, impacting our ability to deliver forms and process donations that was further exacerbated by new functionality related to leaderboards, prizes and mobile applications.”

Who did this glitch impact?

Seattle is just one of the over 40 communities across the country that hosted a Giving Day yesterday using a donation platform called Kimbia. Each of those campaigns, the nonprofits taking part, and their donors were affected by the problem. Many nonprofits rely heavily on GiveBIG to fund their programs, so it’s important that day two of GiveBIG help them reach their goals. It was also frustrating for donors, who tired multiple times to make gifts throughout yesterday.

Is the glitch fixed?

The issue was identified and addressed yesterday afternoon, so the platform is now working and we are accepting donations made at www.crosscut.com/givebig. Our community contributed over $11.4 million yesterday through GiveBIG to nonprofits across King County, activating $1.5 million in nonprofit matching funds.

Did this glitch happen because the Seattle Foundation secretly hates nonprofits, didn’t test the system, or doesn’t understand how much small nonprofits rely on GiveBIG for their fundraising efforts?

Where to begin… no. Over the past six years, the Seattle Foundation has invested over $56 million in Seattle nonprofits through GiveBIG. In an email this morning to nonprofit partners, Seattle Foundation CEO Tony Mestres wrote, “we recognize how critical this campaign is to your development efforts and the essential work your organization does in our community. We have an amazingly generous community and we will meet this challenge.” Kimbia — the donation platform used for GiveBIG —conducted several weeks of high volume testing leading up to the event, however none of these tests revealed the hardware malfunction. Both the Seattle Foundation and Kimbia have been working tirelessly to do right but us, their nonprofit partners and donors. And they’ve extended GiveBIG and its stretch funds through tonight at midnight, with the intention to reach their original $20 million goal.

Ok then, did this glitch happen because Kimbia secretly hates nonprofits, didn’t test the system, or doesn’t understand how much small nonprofits rely on GiveBIG for their fundraising efforts?

Also no. Although they did conduct the high volume tests, and have run several other events totally over $250 million, the testing didn’t reveal the hardware glitch. They’ll be conducting a full review of the issue to dig out any other contributing factors. Here’s a message from the Kimbia team on the topic:

“Like many of you, we came to this day expecting to deliver millions of dollars to nonprofits across America. This is what we do as an organization and this is something that we have done successfully hundreds of times in the past. Yet, the past 10 hours have been some of the most painful of our lives. We have let you down, the people we serve. We do not take any of your comments and concerns lightly, and we will work tirelessly to earn back your trust in our capabilities. We understand the frustration this day has caused and it is our sincere hope that people will rally together to continue to show love and support to their favorite nonprofits all over the nation.”

Fine, then what should I do with all my anger and frustration?

Funnel it into supporting the amazing nonprofits that are rallying today to meet their GiveBIG goals. We’ve highlighted a few of the incredible, mission-driven teams that are working tirelessly to make our community a place we’re proud to live in. Take time today to help the nonprofits you care about get the word out about the GiveBIG extension, and give what you can personally to support them.


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About the Authors & Contributors

Tamara Power-Drutis

Tamara Power-Drutis is a writer, researcher and the former executive director of Crosscut.