Big Payback ends early due to nationwide technical difficulties

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Big Payback ended early Tuesday due to nationwide technical difficulties, according to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

The Big Payback is a 24-hour, online giving event supporting 770 non-profit organizations in the 40 counties.

But on Tuesday, it ended about 4 hours early.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

“We so appreciate the kindness and generosity of the hundreds of people who stayed up in the wee hours of the morning to support their favorite nonprofits,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Lehman added, “Starting about 9 a.m., we encountered technical difficulties, which stemmed largely from the rush of Middle Tennesseans eager to make a difference.”

With the overwhelming vote of the nonprofit partners polled late this afternoon, the decision was made to end the 24-hour giving campaign early.

The Big Payback was on a record-setting pace of raising funds for participating area nonprofits in Middle Tennessee before experiencing the technical difficulties.

The event’s website is run by a national company named Kimbia, and the Community Foundation says it was serving 54 communities on Tuesday before it crashed.

The third annual event was well on its way to surpassing last year’s $2.64 million total.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee said the following was donated:

  • There were 150 gifts in the first five minutes.
  • About $15,000 was raised in the first 12 minutes.
  • In the first three hours (midnight to 3 a.m.), The Big Payback had 701 gifts totaling $55,702, which came to 233 gifts per hour and $18,567.33 per hour.
  • In the next 30 minutes, 97 gifts and an additional nearly $9,000 were raised.
  • The event surpassed 1,000 gifts and $100,000 before 6 a.m.
  • Comparing the results at 8 a.m. Tuesday with 8 a.m. last year, the totals had increased $57,000 compared to 2015’s The Big Payback.

“The great news is that we live in a very generous community, in a singularly generous country. The bad news is that this throng of giving overloaded the system nationwide,” Lehman noted.

The Community Foundation said it discussed to either extend the giving period or change courses completely.

The foundation polled local nonprofits and decided to “call the game and start another day” with a system in which they have full confidence, noting they “couldn’t be sure Kimbia’s system wouldn’t crash again.”

“Thank you all for your support of The Big Payback and for hanging with us,” Lehman concluded. “We are proud to live and serve in Middle Tennessee.”

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