BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Giving Tuesday Aims to Encourage Charitable Donations

By Erin Delmore
Correspondent

“It’s an important way to kick off the season of giving,” said Center for Non-Profits President and CEO Linda Czipo.

After Americans open their wallets for Cyber Monday, a reminder to open their hearts for Giving Tuesday, dedicated to raising money and awareness for charitable causes. And, five years in, it’s catching on.

“With the holidays, there’s a lot of attention being paid on commerce. And that’s certainly important in its own way. But the holiday season is a lot about giving and thinking about people and that spirit,” Czipo said.

Millions of donors from dozens of countries taking part, spurred by millions of mentions on social media.

“It has definitely become something people expect as apposed to just kind of a nice thing. It’s really become quite a phenomenon both throughout the U.S. and worldwide,” Czipo said.

Last year, organizations raised $116 million on Giving Tuesday, more than double the amount raised the year before, a pattern that’s held in recent years.

An anonymous donor committed to match up to $25,000 in donations made to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey today.

“There’s 1.1 million hungry people in New Jersey. We keep impressing upon everyone this is an important time of year because the donations last us. All of the giving that we usually get now really extends our year and ability to do more throughout the year. Because as many people know, the summer is the most vulnerable time,” said Debra Vizzi, president and CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey is looking to ramp up monetary donations this month to carry it through the year. Some nonprofits have gotten a head start with a surge in donations after the presidential election, including the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the nonprofit journalism outfit ProPublica.

“Last year we got about half a million dollars from 3,300 small donors, most of it online, but some from mailed checks. This year were already up to more than $900,000 from those two sources, and we expect that to grow a good bit between now and the end of the year,” said ProPublica President Richard Topfel.

Other nonprofits are sending emails, running banners across their websites and tweeting with the hashtag #GivingTuesday, all in the hopes of catching a charitable eye.

Of course, it’s too soon to tell how well those fundraising efforts turned out, but the expectation is a new record.