Local organizations join Giving Tuesday movementWritten by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
After the long shopping weekend that follows Thanksgiving — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday — local organizations hope area residents will set aside some money to donate to local organizations during Giving Tuesday.
The national Giving Tuesday campaign, set for Dec. 2, aims to create a day of giving and “raising funds and awareness for important causes everywhere,” according to givingtuesday.org.
The campaign was started in New York two years ago by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. Since then, community foundations across the country have gotten involved.
The Toledo Community Foundation is planning an initiative offering a matching grant for charities that register locally.
“We think it’s a win-win,” said Keith Burwell, president of Toledo Community Foundation. “It fits our mission of promoting philanthropy in the community.”
Burwell said the donated money goes directly to the organizations.
“This is not a fundraising campaign for the foundation in any way; it’s directly for the organizations in our community,” he said.
Steps and guidelines for local organizations wanting to participate in the campaign are detailed on toledocf.org.
“We start with Thanksgiving. We go to Black Friday, we’re told to spend, spend, spend. We go to Small Business Saturday, we’re told to spend, spend, spend. We go to Cyber Monday, we’re told to spend, spend, spend,” Burwell said. “We think it’s a great idea, on a Tuesday, to go right back where we started to give a little thanks and give back.”
Food for Thought is among the many local organizations participating. The Downtown-based nonprofit is looking to purchase a box truck with funds raised on Giving Tuesday. The organization currently loads their items by hand and is looking for a more efficient way.
A used box truck with liftgate would cost around $8,000, said Jill Bunge, interim executive director at Food for Thought.
“It’s a tangible item that we can source at a reasonable cost and it will allow us to do our food pickups much easier,” Bunge said. “It’s something that, as we’re looking to increase service, would be such a huge help and save the backs of our drivers.”
Bunge added that she has been in talks with other people in the area who would benefit from using the truck as well.
Bunge said Giving Tuesday offers a great way to kick off the giving season by supporting a local organization that provides “a gateway between poverty and prosperity” by serving meals to people in need.
“It’s more than just the food. We try to engage folks [and] have a conversation,” she said.
The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio is promoting the gift of girl power. Funds raised on Giving Tuesday will provide financial aid for the organization. The Girl Scouts have a policy of not turning away anyone who wants to join the organization and financial aid helps make that possible.
Funds will also support volunteers and outreach efforts.
“Giving Tuesday is just a way to celebrate giving and celebrate how philanthropy can change the world,” said Major Gifts Manager Erin McPartland. “That’s at the heart of what we do … we’re building future philanthropic leaders.”
The Girl Scouts are encouraging supporters to share why they donated on social media networks using #GiveGirlPower.
The Lupus Foundation of America, Greater Ohio Chapter is also involved in Giving Tuesday. The group works to educate people about lupus and give support to those with the disease.
A local group meets at the Washington branch of the Toledo Public Library from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every fourth Saturday of the month. This group will benefit from the funds as well.
“It’s really important for people to keep in mind that there are a lot of nonprofits out there,” said Marnie Burke, vice president of programs and patient services.
Whitehouse-based Bittersweet Farms will also be involved for the second year in a row.
The organization is looking to fund its growing horticulture program, which “enables individuals with autism to learn valuable work skills and benefit financially from the sale of Bittersweet’s natural and nutritious products,” according to a news release.
Bittersweet’s board of directors will match the first $1,500 donated. The organization is also in need of gardening tools.
The number of local organizations involved with Giving Tuesday is growing by the day. Burwell said the goal was to have 200 groups, and he is confident they will meet it. The full list can be found at toledocf.org.
Other organizations involved at press time include: A.D.A.M.S. House, The Arts Commission, Cherry Street Mission Ministries, Hannah’s Socks, Partners In Education of Toledo, Planned Pethood, Heartbeat of Toledo, UpTown Association, Toledo School for the Arts, Habitat for Humanity of Wood County, Metroparks of Toledo Area, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Ohio Theatre & Events Center, Children’s Theatre Workshop, The iTaalk Autism Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Kidney Foundation of Northwest Ohio, ProMedica Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo, The Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio, Special Olympics Toledo Public and more.