Marketing, PR & Advertising and Nonprofits

Nonprofits count on '#GivingTuesday'

November 30, 2015
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UICA positions itself for a rebound
The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, or UICA, in downtown Grand Rapids is a nonprofit center for contemporary visual arts, film, special events, education and community events. Photo by Michael Buck

A number of West Michigan nonprofits are hoping to see an influx of donations tomorrow and this week, thanks to a worldwide campaign.

‘#GivingTuesday” is an annual movement to encourage a day of charitable giving to counteract the consumerism practiced on Black Tuesday and Cyber Monday. 

The day falls on Dec. 1 this year.

In 2014, global donations raised through the campaign reached nearly $46 million, a 64-percent increase from 2013.

A "generous" community

Diana Seiger, president of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, said in West Michigan, she’s seen an increase of nonprofits leveraging “#GivingTuesday” as a way to encourage donations, something she hopes will continue with each passing year.

“I see more and more nonprofits promoting it than I did even a year ago,” Seiger said. “With the growth of social media, we have seen a tremendous uptick in participants.”

Seiger said while there hasn’t been an official study into how the movement has grown in Grand Rapids, she anticipates the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University will track "#GivingTuesday’s” impact on the region in five-year increments.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has been proactive in getting the word out about "#GivingTuesday" and working to increase regional awareness of the campaign.

“We’re a community that is very generous, and I really hope that our community rallies and helps to increase their giving,” Seiger said. “’#GivingTuesday’ helps promote the importance of giving back, and this is a great time of year for people to be reminded how important it really is.”

"#GivingTuesday" in West Michigan

Several West Michigan nonprofits are using “#GivingTuesday” as an opportunity to create campaigns to generate giving, while others are simply trying to increase awareness of the campaign.

  • For each blood donation at the Michigan Blood Donor Center on Tuesday, Michigan Blood will pay it forward with a $5 donation to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids
  • Patrons who bring a flier from Gilda’s Club to the Fulton Street Bagger Dave’s from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday will have 15 percent of their bill donated to the cause
  • A $40 or more donation to the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts on Tuesday will earn an annual membership to UCIA, matching the donation level, including three free months of membership
  • Grand Rapids Urban Young Life has set a “#GivingTuesday” goal of securing 1,000 people to donate $10 a month
  • Donations to Kids’ Food Basket on Tuesday will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000 by the organization’s staff
  • Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank hopes to raise funds to provide 80,000 meals, with the help of a donor who has agreed to match donations up to $10,000 from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1.
  • The first 100 people to make an on-site donation Tuesday to Women’s Resource Center at Marge’s Donut Den in Wyoming will receive a free donut and coffee

In addition to campaigns designed to encourage giving, many local nonprofits are doing their part to get the word out.

The Grand Rapids Symphony, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore and Hand to Hand are some of the organizations that are campaigning to raise awareness of “#GivingTuesday.”

Global impact

"#GivingTuesday" was founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation.

The campaign has partnered with more than 30,000 organizations across 68 countries and has had a hand in an estimated 470-percent increase in donations since its inception.

Primarily using social media to increase awareness, “#GivingTuesday” has made 32.7 million Twitter impressions and 15.4 billion global impressions.

More than 40 civic campaigns around the U.S. help to increase donations on “#GivingTuesday.”

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