Giving Tuesday, Giving Thanks

giving tuesday

by Susan Bottum, Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

It is hard to believe, but the holiday season is near.  Families will gather, give thanks and enjoy a wonderful meal.  Then the frenzy of the shopping season will hit: Black Friday, Cyber Monday.

And then there is Giving Tuesday.

Started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, Giving Tuesday was created as a way to heighten the importance of giving during a season of spending.  Simply said, Giving Tuesday was designed as a 1-day opportunity for people to make charitable contributions.   While the intent is wonderful, it has also caused more than a little worry on the part of many nonprofits.  “Will my organization miss out if we don’t participate?”  “How do I get started?”  “My Board feels we need to promote this opportunity!”  “What is the best way to create a social media platform for this?”  And so on.

My simple advice to those in a state of panic is this: Relax.  If you can find a stress-free way to participate in Giving Tuesday, great.  If not, please do not worry.  In 2014, over 8,000 nonprofits participated, and the amount donated on Giving Tuesday was approximately $45.7M.  That averages out to approximately $5,725 per organization.  And while that is a nice amount, it is important to consider the investment of time and effort on the part of the staff and volunteers to make this a reality.

Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to thank your donors and remind them about the great work of your organization.  Whether on Giving Tuesday or any other day during this holiday season, share a story or two about how your donors have made a difference this year.  And give thanks.  Now and throughout the year.

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