Many of us at Salsify participate today in #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back in the aftermath of a busy shopping weekend. Early predictors estimate total charitable giving will increase 4.1% this year in the US, today is a day that is focused on improving that statistic.
Last year, the campaign to drive charitable giving to local and national nonprofit organizations reached nearly 1 million people via Facebook and made 114 billion Twitter impressions. Still there is room for more awareness. While 93% of consumers were familiar with Black Friday, only 18% were familiar with the Giving Tuesday concept.
As the former Americorps Development Coordinator for Boston’s BUILD chapter, an organization which provides entrepreneurship and experiential learning opportunities to youth in under-resourced communities, I’m passionate about supporting local initiatives and have worked firsthand on building online visibility for charitable groups. One of my favorite ways to combine giving back with holiday shopping is the year-round use of the AmazonSmile program. Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to the charity of your choice. To get started, select a charity and use the designated URL to shop. If you are already buying on Amazon, it is an easy way to give back.
Please take a moment today to give back to your local charity and share your story in our comments. If you are uncertain where you’d like to give, visit the GivingTuesday website for a complete listing or read about some of our employee’s favorite charities below.
THON. “I always donate to Penn State Thon. It helps to fight cancer in kids. My older brother got really involved with the organization while at Penn State. I helped him raise money for the cause and got hooked on this great charity! All the money donated has been used to find a cure and help pay for procedures when families can’t afford the treatment kids need.” – Monica Novelli
Brain Trauma Foundation and others. “I have personal connections to a lot of the charities I support. I participated in the American Heart Association Walk-a-Thon and donate annually because 22 years ago my father underwent a successful quadruple bypass surgery. I’ve also donated and participated in the Jimmy Fund and the PanMass Challenge, which left me very sore but was fun! And lastly, I suffered a traumatic brain injury while traveling a few years ago and spent 6 months in rehab (physical, occupational, and speech therapy) which is why I support the Brain Trauma Foundation. The brain is a complex black box and challenges doctors and medicine today.” - Kevin Calhoun
Camp Kita. “My wife and her siblings (in addition to holding day job) run Camp Kita, a summer camp for children who have lost a family member to suicide. I know Giving Tuesday is their biggest single day of fundraising. It is a small organization so all the money goes straight to the actual cause – ensuring all the children can attend for free. This is particularly important since often with a family suicide either death leads to a debt increase or the death removes an income source.” – Eric Smith
St. Jude Children's Reserach Hospital. “I’ve been donating to St Jude Children Research Hospital since I was 7 years old. When I was growing up, I used to return cans and donate to the children’s hospital research initiatives. I was known as ‘The Nickel Boy’ on local radio stations.” – Kevin Briggs
826. “I donate to 826 Boston, a local writing and tutoring center. It’s part of a larger national network that builds on what K-12 students learn in public school classrooms by providing individual writing guidance, writing field trips, summer camps, and in-classroom, project-based support. All of the writing done results in published student work that is sold in imaginative storefronts, such as the Greater Boston Bigfoot Research Institute or the flagship Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco.” – Cara Wood
Choose your own charity. “This year’s election mobilized me to think of ways to be more charitable. As someone who has not historically donated a lot of money, it was a great incentive to explore which causes I wanted to support most. I got great ideas from Twitter, both from my friends' feeds and celebrities and other influencers who crowdsource ideas from their networks. Next I went to Charity Navigator to learn more information about each organization.” – Emily Saka