Rather than focusing on consumerism, Giving Tuesday is a way to use this season of giving to give back to our area nonprofits, social agencies and causes. And it can also be an opportunity to set up a permanent legacy in the community.
Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29) is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration and an opportunity for local nonprofit agencies to use the global banner (identified by #GivingTuesday) in order to bolster their fundraising and missions. Last year, nonprofits raised more than $117 million online during Giving Tuesday.
Some area organizations have placed their own unique spin on Giving Tuesday. And year-end giving also is an opportunity to open a charitable fund that will keep giving to the community for years to come.
And if you don’t have financial resources to give, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities available in Summit County. Here’s a web resource through United Way of Summit County: volunteer.uwsummit.org/Volunteer/VolHome.jsp. And click here for a list of opportunities through Volunteer Match.
A local spin
While many local nonprofits recognize Giving Tuesday as a chance to give at the end of the year, some are offering their own angles. Like the Akron Art Museum, which is leveraging Giving Tuesday to launch its campaign to fully fund the Akron Art Library, a new project that will give anyone with a Summit County library card the opportunity to check out original artwork from local, national and international artists, just as they would a book. From Nov. 29 through Dec. 31, any tax-deductible donations to the Museum’s Akron Art Library will be matched by a Knight Foundation grant Arts Challenge grant. To donate, visit AkronArtMuseum.org/donate.
“The art library gives the Akron Art Museum a new way to promote arts dialogue and connect new audiences with art—especially those who are not museum visitors and who may not otherwise have much interaction with art,” said Akron Art Museum Director of Education Alison Caplan. “We’re also excited and pleased to connect with library patrons through programming, helping visitors choose works of art, sharing information about the art, as well as assisting them in the proper care of the works.”
The Art Library will be housed at the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library and will allow anyone over the age of 18 the opportunity to check out original works of art with their ASCPL card.
Other nonprofits are leveraging #GivingTuesday to launch their own unique giving campaigns, like Community Legal Aid, which will launch #BeTheChange, starting Nov. 29.
“Giving Tuesday is all about doing something collectively, and doing it now. It’s about being a part of something larger than yourself,” said Maria Duvuvuei, director of communications and development for Legal Aid. “We selected the Ghandi quote as our campaign theme to reinforce the importance of actively participating in and being a part of changes you want to see happen in your community. We hope it inspires people to see that they really can make a difference.”
Legal Aid is a nonprofit law firm that that serves the legal needs of low-income individuals and families in central and northeast Ohio
“We saw it as a new way to link people to our cause, which is alleviating poverty and strengthening communities in which we serve,” explained Sara Strattan, executive director of the organization.
Habitat for Humanity of Summit County is looking for support for the “Gesture Challenge” during Giving Tuesday, as every dollar donated through the end of November will equal one vote for the challenge. The organization with the most votes wins an extra $1,000, according to Habitat. (Learn more here – e.gesture.com/events/5lR/)
Other Giving Tuesday campaigns include the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, who’s matching donations so each $1 donated covers eight meals. Boys and Girls Club of Western Reserve is has a launched “Give Five,” which is asking residents to give $5 or 5 minutes to a club kid, along with offering five reasons to give.
A permanent legacy
With a donor-advised fund, you can give directly to community issues you believe in while having the tax benefits of operating a nonprofit, according to Akron Community Foundation, which adds that a fund is like a combined savings and checking account through which you can support your favorite causes and charities.
The community foundation handles all of the administrative and accounting work, including sending grant checks to the nonprofit of your choosing. These funds may typically be set up in one day and annual costs are low (usually around 2 percent). You can also set up funds in the name of a family member, company or loved one.
Because donor-advised funds are set up to give back to the community in perpetuity, setting up a fund will ensure a permanent legacy, long after year-end giving is over.
To learn more about opening a donor-advised fund at Akron Community Foundation, visit www.akroncf.org/dafguide.
For more info about Giving Tuesday, visit www.givingtuesday.org.