'The Big Payback' Raises Big Money in Middle Tennessee - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

'The Big Payback' Raises Big Money in Middle Tennessee

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - More than 500 non-profit organizations in Middle Tennessee took part in "The Big Payback" Tuesday. It is a 24-hour fundraiser coordinated by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Early Tuesday afternoon there was a brass band on the steps of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. The music, along with a stilt walker, had one purpose.

"To attract attention because we're trying to get people to donate to all of their favorite charities, it's just a perfect 24 hour on-line giving campaign. So we're hoping they'll consider us with their other on-line favorites," said Sylvia Rapoport from the The Conservancy for The Parthenon and Centennial Park.

The non-profit organization is one of 525 in 30 Middle Tennessee counties who are took part in "The Big Payback".

"It's about the money. And we hope people will step up, and go on-line to thebigpayback.org and give to support non-profits that are helping them, and their neighbors," explained Ellen Lehman from The Community Foundation.

The on-line fundraiser will run from 6 o'clock Tuesday morning, until 6 o'clock Wednesday morning. Leaders of the non-profit organizations were encouraged to use their imagination to drum-up support and raise awareness about their group.

Alive Hospice sent people across Nashville to give out hugs as a way to spread the word about "The Big Payback".

"We're having a Hug-a-Palooza, which reflects the warmth that we show everyday with our patients and their families," Sally Smallwood from Alive Hospice said.

While the main goal of "The Big Payback" is to raise money, but The Community Foundation also wanted people to visit the web site to learn more about non-profit organizations some people may not have heard about in the past.

"Once they're there they look around a little bit and they find a charity they've heard of, but don't know much about," Lehman said.

This is the first time The Community Foundation has attempted a region-wide on-line fundraising campaign.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com

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