December 12, 2014
(Primary image credit to Charity Navigator)
Elevate your “cause” this holiday season by remembering the core reason of the season: The holidays are a time for giving. To reignite the true meaning of the holidays, the United Nations Foundation and community center 92nd Street Y began an initiative known as Giving Tuesday—or #GivingTuesday, if you’re on social media. The goal of this new “holiday” on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday is to counter corporate forces that have corrupted the giving season to one of capitalistic consumerism.
The initiative has taken off since its formation in 2012, with many large organizations like Google and the Case Foundation acting as partners. Nonprofits have also taken advantage of the publicity, with online fundraising software company DonorPerfect reporting a 46% gain in online giving on Giving Tuesday in 2012. Vice President Joe Biedermann said that, not only were donation quantities up, but the average amount given increased, too—from $109.81 to $136.85.
Private-independent schools, too, have adopted the event as an opportunity to remind their communities that they could give the gift of education to local students—thereby turning a national event into a local one.
The Quaker School (TQS) at Horsham in Horsham, Pennsylvania, participated in both the 2013 and 2014 Giving Tuesday celebration. In 2013, they challenged their community to raise funds equivalent for one child’s tuition ($32,000). This year, TQS laid the groundwork for greater giving by offering a whole week of insight into the opportunities and growth the school offers its students through emails, videos, and newsletters—before asking for the donation.
Camphill Special School in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has also participated in Giving Tuesday for the past two years. They raised over $7,000 from online donations last year—40% of which were first-time donors. This year, they called on donors to make a gift “in honor of a friend, neighbor, or coworker” to share the school’s mission with people who “might otherwise not know about” Camphill.
St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, felt the #GivingTuesday spirit this year and asked for donations, emphasizing that the day was “designed to celebrate giving instead of buying—giving to anyone, any cause, for any reason.” They then offered reasons why someone would choose their cause, thanking donors for previous contributions of goods, prayers, and donations throughout the year.
Your private school is just as worthy a cause for donors to support during this season as any other. So next year, participate in Giving Tuesday. Give your community a reason to keep their feel-good donations where they’ll make a difference—close to home.
Additional ISM resources:
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 12 No. 4 Holiday Tips for the Development Office
ISM Monthly Update for Development Directors Vol. 10 No. 4 They Want to Give ... Will You Be There to Receive?
Private School News Vol. 13 No. 11 "And to All, a Good Night" —Community Efforts by Independent Schools During the Holidays
Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 32 No. 10 Seven Gift Planning Tips for a Small Development Office