THE Seattle Foundation’s big 24-hour rush of philanthropy, the online GiveBIG campaign, shows what a difference a day can make. Tuesday’s single-day drive is the fourth in what has become an enormous focus for charitable fundraising in the Puget Sound region.

Sign on to
seattlefoundation.org starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, choose from a list of 1,600 nonprofit agencies, and donate to one or more. Last year’s drive raised $11.1 million from 30,000 donors.

The online drive is timed for the springtime slump in contributions that many nonprofits face. The rapid growth of the campaign — from just $4 million the first year — demonstrates that the day of giving has become a regional institution. Anyone on a fundraising mailing list can attest to the emphasis many charities now place on GiveBIG.

The foundation, commercial contributors and philanthropists have established a $1 million fund that will be distributed among the 1,600 nonprofits according to their pro-rata share of contributions. Individual charities also have lined up $570,000 in challenge grants — pledges that will be paid if donors Tuesday put up a matching amount.

This year’s theme is “There are heroes among us,” a nod to the workers, the organizations and the donors who do their part to hold our society together. Seattle is a generous community. Its heroes are worthy of our support.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Sharon Pian Chan, Lance Dickie, Jonathan Martin, Erik Smith, Thanh Tan, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).