More than 3,300 nonprofit organizations are taking part in the 12th annual North Texas Giving Day event Sept. 17.

The 18-hour online event organized by Communities Foundation of Texas allows people to financially support local nonprofits and causes. Early giving opened Sept. 1 and had already raised more than $12 million as of Wednesday afternoon. Last year’s event saw about $50 million raised for 3,000 nonprofits in the 20-county region, according to the Communities Foundation of Texas website.

In a news release about the event, organizers said there was a 21% increase in first-time nonprofit participants and specific requests this year amid increasing community needs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Animal Refuge Foundation took part in North Texas Giving Day for the first time last year and raised more than $23,000.

“We reached a broader audience, gained more supporters and made lasting relationships that will help us reach our goal for this year," Animal Refuge Foundation Vice President Jenna Glover said in a statement. "Thanks to North Texas Giving Day, we were able to help more dogs in 2019 than ever before, and we hope to surpass that success and make 2020 our greatest year yet!”

Dallas Mavericks Chief Executive Officer Cynt Marshall and AT&T Senior Vice President Corey Anthony are serving as this year’s honorary chairs of North Texas Giving Day. Marshall said compassion and community are very important, but he believes “action speaks louder than words.”

“North Texas Giving Day will give many of us an opportunity to show compassion and take our service to the community to new levels,” Marshall said via email. “I can’t wait to get up and give!”

In light of the effects of COVID-19 and social justice discussions throughout the region this year, the North Texas Giving Day website allows people to search for nonprofits that meet specific filters that can be set up by users. Among those filters are ones for leadership that self-designate as Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and nonprofits that work in employment and workforce, human trafficking, immigrants and refugees, and more.

Susan Swan Smith, chief giving day officer at Communities Foundation of Texas, noted North Texas Giving Day started as an online-only event, which is convenient for social distancing.

“Everything—from donating, to volunteering to just simply celebrating nonprofits who support our community every day, but especially now—can be done safely online on North Texas Giving Day,” she said.

As part of Thursday’s event, “The North Texas Giving Day Concert Presented by the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation and Levitt Pavilion” will offer online musical performances on Levitt Pavilion’s Facebook page throughout the day. Scheduled performers include Larry Gee, Hannah Kirby and Brad Thompson, Bri Bagwell, Ron Bultongez and Radney Foster.