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Kimbia's "giving cart" allows donors to give to multiple organizations at once. Photo from The Seattle Foundation.
Kimbia’s “giving cart” allows donors to give to multiple organizations at once. Image from The Seattle Foundation.

Update: The Seattle Foundation will extend its GiveBIG campaign through Wednesday, May 4. (See statement below).

Seattle’s annual GiveBIG charitable campaign is experiencing technical difficulties.

The Seattle Foundation, which runs the one-day philanthropic challenge, decided to use a new platform, called Kimbia, to drive donations this year. The mobile-friendly technology was meant to mimic the e-commerce shopping experience.

Users express frustration on The Seattle Foundation's website.
Users express frustration on The Seattle Foundation’s Facebook Page.

The system has crashed under the load of the traffic, however, leaving many would-be donors and non-profit partners frustrated.

“Due to the high website traffic, donors have reported longer than normal donation-page loading times for GiveBIG, as well as for similar giving events around the country,” The Seattle Foundation said in a statement. “Our technology partners are working as quickly as possible to address this issue.”

In addition to slow load times, many Facebook users have noted the absence of a donation button on the GiveBIG website.

Seattle Foundation’s President and CEO Tony Mestres, previously a Microsoft general manager, told GeekWire in an earlier interview that he believed the new technology would help GiveBIG reach its $20 million goal.

The GiveBIG campaign was launched in 2011 and raised $4.1 million on its first day. The event has generated a total of $56 million for Seattle non-profits over the past five years.

The Seattle Foundation says high traffic volume is responsible for the technical issues and asks “for your patience and support as we work quickly and diligently to resolve this issue.”

There are no details yet on when the site will be fully functional again.

“I’m starting to receive messages from organizations I support suggesting donating through their own websites instead of through GiveBIG,” Margaret Louise Masar commented on Facebook.

Updated Tuesday, 3:10 p.m. Read the Seattle Foundation’s full statement, announcing the extended GiveBIG campaign, below. 

As you may know, GiveBIG and Giving Days across the country have been challenged by issues with the technology platform. These issues have caused delays for some donors. At this time, we can report that the majority of transactions are processing on, and we expect those improvements to continue through the afternoon.

Seattle Foundation is committed to our nonprofit partners who rely on GiveBIG for critical financial support and the opportunity to rally their stakeholders around their important mission. GiveBIG’s success is also dependent on the generosity of the thousands of donors who share in this annual day of giving.

Given all these factors, Seattle Foundation is extending GiveBIG through midnight tomorrow, Wednesday, May 4. The spirit of GiveBIG and the generosity of our community extend beyond 24 hours and a technology challenge cannot stand in the way of us meeting the needs of Greater Seattle.

We are grateful for the patience of all affected. Please note that the leaderboards and portions of the reporting may be delayed, as the focus was first on ensuring transaction capability returned to normal.

At its core, GiveBIG is about the community coming together to make an impact and we are confident the community will rally with us to support the critical work underway to make Greater Seattle a stronger, more vibrant community for all. The challenge of today is one of technology, not generosity.

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