#GivingTuesday Promotes Social Generosity

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we now have #GivingTuesday.

Charities, Christian ministries, churches and other nonprofits hope to raise funds on Dec. 2 from individuals, families, communities and companies who want to celebrate generosity.

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The idea for #GivingTuesday was first announced in October 2012, a month before the first planned Giving Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Seeing an opportunity to channel the generous spirit of the holiday season to inspire action around charitable giving, a group of friends and partners, led by 92nd Street Y, came together to find ways to promote and celebrate the great human tradition of giving.

Giving Tuesday is only on its third year, but it’s quickly become a sensation with non-profits, donors and charitable causes. It’s engaged more 13,000 non-profit and corporate partners—from Microsoft  and PayPal to CVS Health  and Toys R Us—and the Red Cross and countless other charities.

This year, actor Ed Norton has given the movement a boost through a website called Crowdrise. Crowdrise is offering an app that allows people to see the amount of giving through a virtual tower. Every donation will be a “brick in the tower” and will feature a photo of the donor.

While numbers are hard to come by since the charities and pledges are so diverse, organizers say the campaign has increased awareness and donations to charity.

According to a report from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), most donors in the Christian realm are giving to ministries and parachurch organizations, not churches.

ECFA reports that 2013 saw more giving to camps and conferences (up 18 percent), children’s homes (up 13.9 percent), and student and youth ministries (up 12.3 percent), and less giving to education (down 7 percent for K–12 and 2.8 percent for higher education), denominations (down 1.5 percent), prison ministry (down 3.8 percent), and rehab programs (down 2.4 percent).

As one of the countless Christian groups making appeals on #GivingTuesday, World Vision has partnered with Thirty-One Gifts — a direct-selling company focused on personalized totes, purses, home organization solutions, and more — to bring support to women and girls in need across the United States.

For each of the first 3,100 donations made to World Vision today, Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts will donate a Hope Kit tote filled with essential hygiene supplies such as a toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush, and soap to women and girls in dire straits, which will help them get back on their feet as they work toward better days.

Mercy Ministries has set a goal to raise $10,000 today to give broken and hurting young women a future free from life-controlling issues. While the Mercy program will always be free of charge to the young women they serve, Mercy Ministries wholly depends on private donations to operate. Private rehabilitation programs can charge as much as $2,000 per day, per individual. Mercy’s expense to provide care for hurting girls is only $200 per day, per girl—90 percent less than the cost of other programs.

Every gift made online through The Advance at www.umcmission.org/give on Dec. 2 will be matched up to $1 million. Global Ministries will allocate the matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 2 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.

The NCCAA (the National Christian College Athletic Association) is trying to make a difference in the lives of more than 17,000 student-athletes and 800 coaches. NCCAA  stressed the importance of Christ as the number one priority and aims to equip student-athletes and coaches to make a positive impact for Christ. One hundred percent of the gifts received by the NCCAA on #GivingTuesday are for NCCAA outreach. #GivingTuesday is a movement, not an organization that accepts donations or takes a percentage of funds raised.

Visit the donation page of your favorite ministry, church, nonprofit or college and be part of the #GivingTuesday movement today.


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