By: NobleHour Special Contributor Dolly Duplantier
You're celebrating Thanksgiving with all of your relatives from near and far. Maybe you'll take a risk and join the crowds and lines for Black Friday sales. For sure you're going to take advantage of some Cyber Monday deals. But the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is the real day to make an impact! I’m not talking about putting a dent in your gift list with more items on sale. I’m talking about #GivingTuesday, a day when you can make a real difference in the lives of people all around the world, people that truly need your help.
Started by the non-profit community and cultural center, 92nd Street Y (92Y), along with the United Nations Foundation and a core group of founding partners, #GivingTuesday is a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season. The event builds on the American tradition of giving back by using technology to make a greater impact. The success of #GivingTuesday has prompted thousands of international and local non-profits, as well as civic minded corporations to join the movement. By harnessing the power of social media, the day is dedicated to helping everyone realize that they have the power to make a difference in someone’s life - to bring about real change in communities around the world.
More than 40,000 organizations in 71 countries will take part in this annual event to refocus on giving thanks and giving back. Partners are large corporations and small businesses, faith-based organizations and secular nonprofits. If you don’t have a specific charity in mind, you can go to the #GivingTuesday website and sort by the type of organization or look for charities by location.
You can sort by your interests in arts, culture, animals, health, the environment, education, human services, or research and science. You can also choose to support local community groups, religious organizations, schools and universities, large or small companies, government agencies, and various projects sponsored by groups around the world.
With so many charities competing for your donation, you may want to research the organizations using Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau. Charity Navigator provides an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America's charities. The non-profit organization also provides a list of giving tips to help you when choosing a charity.
Still not sure where to begin? Well, we would like to tell you about some very worthy causes - our NobleCause grant winners. In March of 2016, we awarded more than 100 grants to educational institutions and nonprofit organizations across the country to nurture acts of good and inspire greater civic-mindedness and volunteerism. All grant recipients demonstrate a remarkable ability to raise community awareness, foster partnerships, and cultivate leaders who take action.
These organizations are addressing local challenges by recruiting and enriching the social responsibility of volunteers. Please consider supporting their efforts to help those in need. Many of our NobleCause grantees work to end hunger, provide shelter, tutor students and adults, or assist people with basic human rights. Some provide disaster relief. Others help protect the environment. All have one thing in common - they are working to make our communities better. Check out a few of our NobleCause winners participating in #GivingTuesday. You'll probably find a cause close to your heart. This Tuesday after Thanksgiving, use your power to make a difference in someone’s life. Be a part of bringing real change in communities around the world.
1. Autism Empowerment - Vancouver, WA
2. Community Harvest Project - Grafton, MA
3. Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston - Houston, TX
4. Episcopal Social Services and Breakthrough Club - Wichita, KS
5. Forest Park Conservancy - Portland, OR
6. Georgia Cares - Atlanta, GA
7. HandsOn Bay Area - San Francisco, CA
8. Hostos Community College - Bronx, NY
9. Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts - Springfield, MA
10. Monmouth County Historical Association - Freehold, NJ
11. New Reach, Inc. - New Haven, CT
12. Niagara University - Niagara University, NY
13. Play-Place for Autistic Children - Sterling Heights, MI
14. Pro Bono Partnership - White Plains, NY; Parsippany, NJ; Hartford, CT
15. Pursuit of Innovation - Des Moines, IA
16. Redwood City Library Foundation - Redwood City, CA
17. Southern Rhode Island Volunteers - Charlestown, RI
18. Stepping Stones Museum for Children - Norwalk, CT
19. The RIDGE Project - McClure, Ohio
20. United Way of Acadiana - Lafayette, LA
21. VSA Vermont Inc. - Essex Junction, VT
Whether you want to donate in your name or you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who has everything, #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity to be generous with others and embrace the true meaning of the holidays. How will you make an impact on #GivingTuesday? Share your gift list with us!
Do you want to give your time in addition to donating funds? Not sure where to start? Sign up for your free NobleHour account today to find meaningful opportunities near you!
Photos courtesy of Community Harvest Project and Autism Empowerment.
The NobleCause grants, organized by Get.NobleHour.com, were made possible by an anonymous donor within the GiveWell Community Foundation, which serves Polk County, FL. The NobleCause grant competition, launched in 2015, invited high schools, school districts, colleges and universities, and nonprofits to identify and address a local challenge and to recruit and enrich the social responsibility of volunteers. 100 organizations were awarded $6,500 grants, while seven exemplary organizations were recognized at the $50,000 level. Get.NobleHour.com is dedicated to using NobleCause to increase volunteerism that raises awareness at the local level and develops community members who can take action.
Since 2007, NobleHour has proven to be the volunteer management solution for organizations across the nation. With its robust online platform, NobleHour enhances community engagement with a variety of innovative and transformative tools for finding, tracking, and measuring volunteer, service‐learning, and community service initiatives. With offices in Lakeland, FL, and Portland, OR, the NobleHour team is dedicated to empowering good in communities across the country.
Dolly Duplantier is a freelance writer, editor, and social media specialist. She is the mother of three children, one college graduate, one in college, and one in high school. Writing about people and organizations who make a difference is one of the best aspects of her job!