Hard to believe, but the holiday season is in full swing! We’ve now enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends, Christmas 98.9 FM is playing holiday music around the clock, homes and offices are decorated with lights, and we’re in the middle of two of the biggest shopping events of the year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On Tuesday, November 28, our focus turns from gift buying to giving back, though. Celebrated annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, “Giving Tuesday” is a global day of giving that kicks off the charitable donation season, which ultimately helps provide the support necessary for nonprofits to fulfill their missions.
According to GivingTuesday.org, 98 countries participated last year and more than 1.6 million gifts were made, raising a total of $177 million online. Here in Memphis, we raised $220,000 last year; and the goal is to increase that number significantly. Our local effort, known as “Grit. Grind. Give.,” is led in partnership by Choose901, cityCURRENT, New Memphis, Leadership Memphis, SchoolSeed, Volunteer Odyssey, GiVE 365, and LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org. “Grit. Grind. Give” is an invitation for us to help our local nonprofits by joining together as a community on one day and creating synergy with our financial donations and volunteerism. It’s a day we ALL strategically can give together to help our city!
There are a number of easy ways to participate. If you or your company are planning to make any charitable donations from now through the end of this year, simply make those financial donations online on Giving Tuesday. GivingTuesday.org will be tracking online donations, so your gifts will be counted that day and help us show the world why Memphis is continually ranked as one of the most generous cities in America. Any donation amount is appreciated and you can donate directly to any local nonprofit via their website.
For any business, consider promoting individual employee giving on November 28 by announcing it in your internal communications. Issue a matching challenge where you’ll match employee giving up to a certain dollar amount or match the donations for specific nonprofit you support. For restaurants and retailers, promote your participation and donate a portion of your proceeds for the day to a local nonprofit of your choosing. Visit GritGrindGive.org and you can sign your business up to be included in the marketing efforts, and also find a variety of templates and resources you can use, as well.
If money is tight, you can “Grit. Grind. Give Time” and participate through volunteerism. One hour of volunteer time equates to $22 worth of economic impact in our community. And, lastly, participate by using your voice and social media. Take an “UNselfie” and promote #GivingTuesday and #GritGrindGive by using the hashtags to help spread a message of generosity on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you’d like to get connected with volunteer opportunities or download “UNselfie” templates or sample verbiage, visit GritGrindGive.org.
Then, join me and the rest of our city to #GritGrindGive on #GivingTuesday!