According to organizers, the online giving event was created to increase philanthropy in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee served by the Community Foundation.
The event's goal, described by leaders of the Community Foundation as "simple," is "to inspire Middle Tennesseans to come together, show their pride in their communities and contribute to support the life-changing work of local nonprofit organizations."
The Big Payback raised nearly $1.5 million for 525 local organizations in the first year, and in its second year, the Middle Tennessee community raised more than $2.65 million was raised for 755 participating nonprofits.
"This is a most unique opportunity for all of us locally to financially support the nonprofits or charities of our choice," said Paul Stumb, president of Cumberland University, who chairs the Wilson County Community Foundation affiliate organization and is a member of the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Stumb said each of the nonprofits participating in The Payback is guaranteed to receive a minimum financial contribution just for their willingness to participate.
Stumb said the list of Wilson County nonprofits participating this year is "substantial" and noted that it had increased from last year's number.
The Big Payback started Tuesday at midnight and continues nonstop until 11:59 p.m. Donations will be accepted during the 24-hour period through thebigpayback.org and through authorized, secure giving forms on participating nonprofits’ websites. For more information, visit the Big Payback website.
One of the nonprofits in Wilson County participating in the Big Payback is the Wilson County Civic League. The civic league has a new fundraising campaign directed toward making much-needed improvements to the Market Street Community Center.
The Wilson County Civic League has operated for more than 30 years in the registered Tennessee historic building formerly the Market Street Elementary School. The main building and adjacent gymnasium was built on the grounds of what was originally the Wilson County Training School, a Julius Rosenwald school, built for the education of African-American children when there was no other availability of public education.
The civic league conducts programs in the gymnasium for youth sports activities, arts and theatrical performances and young adult community and faith-based group activities. Several other local schools, churches, and educational groups use the location for recreation, sports camps, and nutritional enrichment programs during the year.
It is used quite often during the summer when schools are not in session. Improvements to the building are seriously needed and could offer even more availability to the community in general and the needs of the under-served.
“Our goal for the initial day of fundraising is $10,000, and donations may begin immediately as the clock starts ticking,” said Marilyn Bryant with Wilson County Civic League. “People are invited to stop by the facility during the day, tour and maybe take part in some surprise activities and donation challenges.”
The Wilson County Civic League is at 321 E. Market St. in Lebanon. Contact it at 615-449-0719 or find it on Facebook.
Historic Lebanon will also participate in the Big Payback.
This is the first year the nonprofit has taken part in the event. Money raised through the event will enable Historic Lebanon to continue its mission of historic preservation with a positive economic impact for the local community.
Anyone can visit thebigpayback.org or historiclebanontn.org and make donations to Historic Lebanon and other participating nonprofits, including schools and religious institutions, which serve Wilson and 39 other counties of Middle Tennessee. Donors can view and select from participating organization based on location and focus area and support multiple nonprofits with gifts ranging from $10 and up.
“Historic Lebanon is an independent non-profit which relies on community contributions for its existence. If you would like to be recognized as a leader and community partner in the preservation and economic revitalization of Lebanon’s historic downtown core, please consider a donation,” said Kim Parks, executive director of Historic Lebanon.
Historic Lebanon will also hold its annual Friends of Historic Lebanon dinner Tuesday evening to increase the impact of their fundraising efforts.
Other Wilson County nonprofits participating include the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, Brooks House, Cedarcroft Home Inc., Charis Health Center, Cumberland University, Empower Me Center, Encore Theater Co., Fiddlers Grove Historical Village, Generations of Grace, Healing Broken Vessels, Latern Lane Farm, Little Shepard Child Care Inc., Mt. Juliet Animal Shelter Volunteer Organization, New Leash on Life, Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, Prospect Inc., Roy Bailey African American History Center and Historic Pickett Chapel, United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland, Wilson County CASA and Wilson County Community Foundation.