Austin’s doing Giving Tuesday bigger this year

  • Monica Williams
  • Giving City Austin
12:00 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 Local
Poinsettias provide a source for work and income for residents of Down Home Ranch, one of the Giving Tuesday participating nonprofits. Courtesy Down Home Ranch. November 2017.

Giving Tuesday, the movement to create a worldwide day of giving, may have been launched in 2012, but most Austin nonprofits hadn’t run with it up until this year. The day was created by an organization in New York City to promote giving and volunteering across the globe, in response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 28.

This year, the nonprofit I Live Here, I Give Here has been named community leader for the campaign, which means it will promote the campaign, train participating nonprofits, and host an event the day of Giving Tuesday. Its goal is to encourage Central Texans to perform “One Million Acts of Good.”

“Many local nonprofits have participated in Giving Tuesday in the past, some with successful campaigns,” said Celeste Flores of I Live Here, I Give Here. “We want to support all those deciding to do one for the first time and make sure the community can connect with local organizations that need their support during the final months of the year.”

I Live Here, I Give Here is the same organization that produces the Amplify Austin campaign, the online fundraising campaign that will take place in next year March 1-2. But unlike Amplify Austin, Giving Tuesday will encourage volunteerism as well as donations, though it does hope to capitalize on year-end giving.

According to reports, Flores says, nonprofit organizations that kick off their year-end giving on Giving Tuesday raise five times more on average than those that don’t. Year-end giving is crucial to nonprofits, as numerous studies have shown that about one-third of all donations made to charities across the country occur in the last 30 days of the year.

Because of the visibility Giving Tuesday offers nonprofits, Flores says Giving Tuesday has become the third biggest day in terms of dollars given worldwide, and the second biggest day worldwide in number of donors.

To help promote the day, I Live Here, I Give Here will host a public event on Giving Tuesday at the Livestrong Foundation headquarters.

The event will feature giving and volunteering opportunities from about 15 different nonprofits. For example, Down Home Ranch, a working farm that offers programs to adults with intellectual disabilities, will offer attendees the chance to purchase poinsettias and other crafts created by its residents. “For us, Giving Tuesday is about spreading the news about our mission,” said Cortney Ferris of Down Home Ranch. “We’re excited about the event and being able to engage people in our work.”

Heather Berger of Livestrong said that the push from I Live Here, I Give Here along with the event could help meet the “One Million Acts of Good” goal. An act of good can be any act of service such as donating a coat, hosting a food drive, adopting a pet or pledging to volunteer in the coming year.

“I think that goal is attainable when you’re giving people a lot of ways to give,” she said, adding that the campaign will use the hashtag #GivingTuesday to create a common theme across posts on social media. “At Livestrong, we definitely feel it’s important to activate our supporters at this time of the year, and Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity for that.”

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