give miami day

You donated $32 million to help make Miami better. Here’s where the money is going

Miami Waterkeeper in top three of Give Miami Day leaderboards

Miami Waterkeeper had the third highest number of unique donors out of more than 1,000 nonprofits and raised the third highest amount of funds out of all environmental organizations. 

You donated $32 million to help make Miami better. Here’s where the money is going

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Miami has a big heart.

For 24 hours on Thursday, nonprofits texted and emailed thousands of potential donors for Give Miami Day, the annual community campaign. As the clock struck midnight into Friday, the money added up to more than $32 million.

Philanthropic leaders are overjoyed at your generosity. More people then (sic) ever opened their wallets for Give Miami Day this year. And while the total raised fell just shy of last year’s record $33.4 million, which included a $10 million donation from an anonymous donor, it got close.

This year’s edition of Give Miami Day opened the online donation portal Monday for “early giving.” Thursday was a 24-hour marathon, ending with the “highest giving event to date” excluding last year’s anonymous donation, according to the Miami Foundation. This year, smaller donations, and more of them, helped the bottom line.

“Give Miami Day makes generosity contagious. It inspires mass generosity and benefits nearly every nonprofit in our incredible community,” said Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation, which hosts the grass-roots philanthropic event.

Now in its 11th year, Give Miami Day had a record 1,078 participating nonprofits and a record number of donors. The Miami Foundation says 41,135 people made 82,641 donations this year, helping to raise $32,007,359, according to preliminary reports. The goal was $25 million.

“Miami shined brightly yesterday,” Lipsey said Friday. “During Give Miami Day, our community’s nonprofits received more than 80,000 donations, and we will feel the impact of every single one. This truly is the most unifying, inspiring, beautiful day of the year.”

Achieve Miami, whose mission is to “close learning gaps, narrow racial divides, and improve engagement and connectivity” among students across Miami-Dade County, received more than $2.6 million from nearly 500 donors. That’s the most money raised by a nonprofit in this year’s event. Achieve Miami was No. 3 for most donations last year. “Give Miami Day has been instrumental in advancing our mission to address the educational divides that are pervasive in our community’s schools,” Leslie Miller Saiontz, founder of Achieve Miami, said in a statement. “At Achieve Miami, we believe every child should have access to a high-quality education — no matter their ZIP Code.

Give Miami Day is helping to ensure we have the financial resources to fulfill that promise.”

Founded in 2015, Achieve Miami offers services to students in Miami-Dade County through a variety of programs in literacy, music, service, leadership, college and career-readiness, and social-emotional development. It also helps recruit educators in a time of teacher shortages. The nonprofit says its “Teacher Acceleration Program” is set to launch in the University of Miami this year, with plans for a national expansion.

Also in this year’s Top 3 for most money raised: The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund, which raised over $1.3 million, and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, which raised over $870,000.

The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund, which was announced in October, is a collaboration between Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, the Miami Foundation, local universities and tech leaders. It provides scholarships to Miami students who are Pell Grant recipients and are enrolled in STEM programs at several South Florida universities. The scholarship is meant to cover anything that FAFSA or other financial aid doesn’t cover.

“We are so proud of the success Venture Miami Scholarship Fund had on Give Miami Day. The gifts represent a strong wave of generosity from new supporters, many of whom represent tech industries and have recently moved to Miami,” said Lindsey Linzer, vice president of community investments at the Miami Foundation and in charge of the new scholarship program. “They are making Miami their home and are stepping up to support STEM education and equity efforts led by local universities and nonprofits.”

Wish Book, run by Miami Herald Charities, raised $14,593 to help South Florida’s neediest families. Throughout the holiday season, the Miami Herald writes about local families in need.

“It is encouraging to see how many people stepped up this year to aid their neighbors through Give Miami Day,” said Roberta DiPietro, the Wish Book coordinator for Miami Herald Charities. “The funds raised for the Wish Book program were on target for the average raised per year. The average amounts donated per individual were a lot higher than typical, and our nominees will be very grateful for the assistance.”

How did other nonprofits do?
Here’s a look at the leader board. To see how your favorite organizations did, visit 


Received the most donations:

  • Achieve Miami — $2,602,813
  • Venture Miami Scholarship Fund — $1,345,450
  • Greater Miami Jewish Federation — $878,650

Nonprofits that had the most individual donors:

  • True North Classical Academy — 2,067 unique donations, raised $300,492
  • The Children’s Movement of Florida — 1,428 unique donations, raised $621,670
  • Miami Waterkeeper — 655 unique donations, raised $140,901

Received the most donations based on organization size:

  • Small organizations
    • The College Assistance Program (CAP, Inc.) — $241,545
    • Gene Spotlight — $200,894
    • Evolutionary Arts Life Foundation — $150,939
  • Medium organizations
    • Achieve Miami — $2,602,813
    • The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund — $1,345,450
    • The Children’s Movement of Florida — $621,670
  • Large organizations
    • Greater Miami Jewish Federation — $878,650
    • Americans for Immigrant Justice — $630,449
    • Lehrman Community Day School, Inc. — $526,663

And because Give Miami Day 2022 had participating nonprofits grouped into nine categories this year, here’s a look at the most donations for each category:

  • Animals
    • Pelican Harbor Seabird Station — $113,253
    • Friends of Miami Animals Foundation, Inc. — $107,214
    • Humane Society of Greater Miami POCTA — $78,179
  • Arts and Culture
    • Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts — $230,988
    • The Children’s Voice Chorus — $162,000
    • Teeny Violini — $145,213
  • Community Care
    • Greater Miami Jewish Federation — $878,650
    • Feeding South Florida — $282,528
    • Miami Disaster Resilience Fund — $250,235
  • Equity, Advocacy, & Civic Engagement
    • Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. — $85,098
    • MCCJ — $64,892
    • The Women’s Edge — $60,862
  • Economic and Community Development
    • Americans for Immigrant Justice — $630,449
    • Lotus House — $124,593
    • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami —$65,862
  • Education and Youth
    • Achieve Miami — $2,602,813
    • The Venture Miami Scholarship Fund — $1,345,450
    • The Children’s Movement of Florida — $621,670
  • Environment
    • Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden — $502,103
    • Friends of The Underline Inc. — $179,699
    • Miami Waterkeeper — $140,901
  • Faith-based
    • Temple Beth Am — $166,336
    • Beth David Congregation — $137,070
    • Unity on the Bay — $91,265
  • Health and Wellness
    • Miami Jewish Health Foundation — $248,553
    • Gene Spotlight Inc. — $200,894
    • Baptist Health Foundation — $133,967


This story was originally published November 18, 2022 1:09 PM.


There’s never a dull moment in Florida — and Michelle covers it as a Real Time/Breaking News Reporter for the Miami Herald. She graduated with honors from Florida International University, where she served as the editor-in-chief of Student Media PantherNOW. Previously, she worked as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7 and was a 2020-2021 Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism fellow.

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