Nonprofits turn focus to Giving Tuesday | TheUnion.com
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Nonprofits turn focus to Giving Tuesday

Stephen Roberson
Staff Writer

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday – all have become part of our traditional holiday season.

Giving Tuesday? It’s a fairly new one.

The promotion, held every year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, benefits nonprofit organizations around the world.

Started in 2012 by 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, the local Center for Nonprofit Leadership picked up on the growing trend three years ago. The focus is to reach out to nonprofit organizations that create a wish list which helps them meet their needs throughout the holiday season.

The idea is to promote a local day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity in response to the commercialization of the holiday shopping season.

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“The 73 (local) organizations we have (involved) are saying, ‘Take the money you saved on Black Friday and give it to us,’” said Susie Bavo, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s chair. “It’s just piggybacking on this international movement.”

Gabrielle Rapport, the chair and executive director of Operation Tiny Home, recently joined the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and is taking part in Giving Tuesday for the first time.

Her organization focuses on assisting those struggling with housing instability to maintain a life of dignity through sustainable housing solutions and empowerment training.

She said the same selfless spirit that leads people to start nonprofits is the same attitude that helps Giving Tuesday pick up needed momentum.

“I think there’s definitely a movement,” she said. “It’s about coming together and acknowledging there’s more to the holiday season than just being consumers. Part of it is giving back. This movement is just bringing an awareness to that.”

With about 12 percent of Nevada County’s population living beneath the poverty line, Giving Tuesday is providing a boost to the local members involved.

Those doing the soliciting aren’t asking for much; Bavo said the average donation ranges between $10 and $20.

“Most of our giving is pet food, pet supplies or financial donations via PayPal or writing a check,” said Patty Galle, co-founder of Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, who’s taking part in the program for the second year. “We take a tremendous amount of pride in our community. We sustain about 400 families on donations.”

Not all the families are homeless and not all need help over a prolonged period of time.

“Sometimes it’s just people who need help for the month,” she said. “Many of those people come to us, they have a pet they absolutely love. For many people that’s all they have is their pets. Our group provides everything they need for their pets to be happy and healthy.

“They’ll ask us, ‘Can you help just this month?’ Our response is, ‘We can absolutely help.’”

Categories, which can be found on the Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s website under the Giving Tuesday promotional banner include animal assistance, arts and culture, community support, environmental, health services, human services, legal support and youth services. Each entry contains a wish list for those looking at ways to help.

The wish list also breaks down exactly how the money can help. For Nevada County Habitat for Humanity, $25 will purchase nails and hardware, $50 will purchase a bathroom faucet, and $100 will buy an interior door. For those really feeling generous, $5,000 will purchase a permanent roof.

For Nevada County Pets of the Homeless, $50 will feed one pet for two months, $100 will cover flea and tick medication for pets living outside for 10 months, and $500 will cover rent and utilities for a month.

To contact Staff Writer Stephen Roberson, email sroberson@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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