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The Big Payback attracts record number of nonprofits

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The Big Payback 2020

A total of 988 Middle Tennessee nonprofits from 34 counties will be participating in The Big Payback, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, on May 6-7.

Giving always matters.

There has been one day each May for the past six years that the community has come together and showered local nonprofits with its generosity. It is 24 hours to celebrate the spirit of giving and collaboration and, ultimately, the extraordinary work that nonprofits do in Middle Tennessee.

This year, a record number of area nonprofits are busy preparing in a big way for The Big Payback’s seventh annual 24-hour online giving day.

A total of 988 Middle Tennessee nonprofits from 34 counties will be participating in The Big Payback, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, on May 6-7. First-time participants include 108 organizations spanning 15 counties.

Starting at 6 pm on Wednesday, May 6, there will be 24 hours to make donations to a wide swath of organizations at

Together, for the past six years, The Big Payback cumulatively raised nearly $17 million with a total of 115,890 donations for area schools, religious institutions and charities working hard to make a difference.

This year, more than ever, nonprofits need support.

For so many, 2020 signified a new decade to take on the world’s problems with full force and a clear vision. Middle Tennesseans are now facing an uncertainty that stems from multiple disasters and the aftermath: loss of homes, gigs, businesses and health.

The unfolding economic impact of these disasters has forced hundreds of organizations to slow down or put their important work on hold at a time when they’re most needed. 

Last year’s event raised a record $4,106,182 for 964 organizations from 28,458 total gifts. That surpassed the 2018 totals of more than $3.1 million in donations from 22,071 total gifts.

“Nonprofits do important, life-changing work every day across Middle Tennessee,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “Over the years, The Big Payback has become an opportunity for us to come together as a community to support their efforts and recognize the positive impact they have on our neighbors. It’s an easy and meaningful way for us to show our local pride, give back and make an enormous impact in so doing.

“As we have faced the 2020 disasters, it’s never been more important, and it has never been so easy.”

For some, first responders and safety personnel have never been so necessary and so top of mind. For others, the nonprofits whose work has been a source of pride and gratitude remain an anchor and a North Star while navigating a path going forward.

“The Big Payback was always and remains a call to give back in gifts large and small, because we live here, and we should give here to recognize and perpetuate our gratitude and our belief in a bright future, because we are Nashville, we are Tennessee and we are all in this together,” Lehman said. “But, this year, in a time where so many of us are spending our days at home, we hope that you will get online at and look at the stories of local nonprofits and their work, day in and day out. We hope you will find new nonprofits — like those who have been making masks to keep us safe from the coronavirus — and you will encourage old nonprofit friends like the public library to continue to bring out the best of us by teaching us to read or how to expand our horizons.

“Remember: If you live here, give here.”

Participating organizations from Williamson County include:

Deer Run Retreat Center

Nature Conservancy of Tennessee

New Hope Academy

Williamson Medical Foundation, Inc.

Battle of Franklin Trust

Graceworks Ministries, Inc.

Currey Ingram Academy

Refuge Center for Counseling

Saddle Up!

Tennessee Baptist Children's Homes

BrightStone, Inc.

Center for Youth Ministry Training

Marriage Helper Inc.

Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury

WAVES, Incorporated

Mercy Health Services Inc

Barefoot Republic, Inc.

Battle Ground Academy

High Hopes, Inc.

Best Buddies International / Best Buddies Tennessee

JDRF International / Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International

Artists in Christian Testimony

Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation Inc.

Studio Tenn Theatre Company

Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County

Williamson County Child Advocacy Center

Global Sanctuary for Elephants

Healing Housing, Inc.

Owl's Hill Nature Sanctuary

Tucker's House


The Shalom Foundation

Frank Town Open Hearts Ministry, Inc.

21st District Recovery Court Inc.

Bridges of Williamson County

ARC of Williamson County

One Generation Away

Harpeth Conservancy

Gentry's Education Center at the Store Front, Inc.

Hope Smiles

My Friend's House Family and Children Services Inc

Both Hands Foundation

Retrieving Independence, Inc.

Nashville Youth Sports Club, Inc.

Tennessee Kids Belong

Camp Marymount

The Gear Foundation Inc- Our Thrift Store Inc

Williamson Christian College


Friends of Franklin Parks, Inc.

Community Child Care, Inc.

Diverse Learners Cooperative

Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition

Williamson County CASA, Inc.


Caleb Company

Beneath The Skin Inc.

Friends of Bowie Nature Park

People for Animals

Encouragement Ministries, Inc.

A.B.L.E. Youth, Inc.

Blessed Earth Tennessee Inc.

The Parent Teacher Student Organization of Nolensville High

Lotz House Foundation

Backlight Productions

Hard Bargain Mt. Hope Redevelopment Inc.

Assistance League of Nashville

Bravo Creative Arts Center Inc.

Williamson Animal Services Inc.

Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue and Sanctuary

Tennessee Youth Symphony

Emanuel Ministries

Lisa Ross Parker Foundation

The Shower Truck/Shower Up

Music City Pet Partners

White Fawn Farm

Restorative Justice Foundation, Inc.

St. Joseph Worker Foundation

Middle Tennessee Golden Retriever Rescue

Therapy ARC

Music City Trykes Chapter of National AMBUCS, Inc.

The Well Outreach

Solo Parent Society

Tennessee Naturalist Program, Inc.

Fine Arts Matter Inc

Resurgence Life Skills Institute, Inc.

African American Heritage Society Museum Inc

Daughters of the King


Snooty Giggles Dog Rescue

Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, Inc.

The View Community Resource Coalition Inc.

Fairview Arts Council

Blind & Charity Fund Downtown Nashville Lions Club

My Bag My Story

Gifts to nonprofits from the public will be boosted with additional financial prizes from sponsors of The Big Payback, and an online leaderboard will track donations in real time. 

Donors will be able to search and select organizations based on location and focus area. Donors also can support multiple nonprofits and make gifts of any size with ease, from $10 and up.

Come together online at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 through 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 7 and give to the organizations that help make Middle Tennessee a place everyone is proud to call home.

For more information, go to

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