North Texas Giving Day raises $14.4 million

In what organizers called a "landslide" of giving, North Texas Giving Day raised $14.4 million Thursday for more than 900 nonprofit organizations.

The amount raised easily eclipsed last year's record of $10.7 million, officials said.

More than $2 million of the donations were made to 150 organizations in Tarrant County, officials said. That's up from the $1.6 million raised by those organizations last year.

"We are absolutely blown away by the record-breaking generosity and goodwill of North Texans," said Brent Christopher, Communities Foundation of Texas president and CEO, in a statement. "This is testament to the strength of our community and our shared desire to make North Texas the most viable, best place to life. We are humbled to say the least."

Nonprofits that received donations between 7 a.m. and midnight Thursday on also got a partial match from a pool of about $1 million in matching and prize funds.

Donations came from every U.S. state and 14 countries, including Canada, Austria, Brazil, China, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Finland, organizers said.

This was the fourth annual North Texas Giving Day. Participation has grown rapidly in Tarrant County, said Nancy Jones, president of the Community Foundation of North Texas. The first two years, most participating nonprofits were in the Dallas area. But last year, 91 Tarrant County nonprofits received $1.6 million in donations, a 1,400 percent increase over 2010.

Cook Children's Health Foundation tweeted Friday that it raised $6,800 this year.

Giving Day events are important because many nonprofits face funding problems in the stagnant economy, said Tim Delaney, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. Donations from all sources, as well as government grants, are generally down.

But the need for services provided by nonprofits has grown, he said.

"It is indeed a national crisis in terms of funding shortages that many people are unaware of," he said. "A lot of people speak in terms of how it hurts nonprofits - and it does hurt nonprofits. But we try to emphasize that it also hurts people who get services from nonprofits."

Alex Branch, 817-390-7689

Twitter: @albranch1