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#GivingTuesday Is Local—#GTBucks Proves It

When we founded #GivingTuesday in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, we had no idea how it would be received. The fact that in a few short years it has gone viral and been embraced by more than 16,000 institutions and organizations worldwide is nothing short of amazing.

Still, one of the loveliest aspects of this journey – to launch and sustain a day to give and express a generosity of spirit – is how civic campaigns across the U.S. have become such a great force in the movement. In 2014, more than 40 civic groups activated #GivingTuesday campaigns; we have more than 50 signed on so far this year, and we expect even more will do so before Dec. 1 (#GivingTuesday 2015).

#GivingTuesdayBucks was an early adopter—our first local campaign, in fact, joining and participating since almost the beginning of #GivingTuesday. As such, it has played an important leading role in mobilizing the strong participation of civic organizations across the country. It’s one of the partners that believed in #GivingTuesday before we had proved to be successful, and for that reason this group holds a special place in our hearts. At last count, this year’s #GTBucks includes 53 organizations, and we are confident it will continue to grow to beat out last year’s number of participating businesses and organizations. The strength of this movement is, to put it mildly, inspiring.

Groups like #GTBucks have come together and shown that giving and generosity of spirit can come from anywhere and anyone. They have led by example, reaching out and building grassroots support to help us build a strong local foundation for our global movement. The centralized donation drop-off initiative is a particularly impressive and effective tactic—we hope that more civic groups will model their own operations on #GTBucks and set up similar initiatives as IRL (in real life) manifestations of the virtual collaboration that #GivingTuesday so richly symbolizes.

As a way to celebrate the breadth and depth of civic campaigns, Snapchat is creating a #GivingTuesday filter, curating a central #GivingTuesday Snapchat story of people doing good around the world with a special emphasis on civic campaigns. It’s one of the ways we want to encourage people to celebrate their cities’ and towns’ generosity with a wider social network. That amplification of local giving to the wider world is a hallmark of #GivingTuesday.

We have also seen overwhelming support and participation of women in the giving movement. Ifeoma Aduba, executive director of A Woman’s Place, helped found #GTBucks. That a female leader of an organization that focuses on helping women has been instrumental in bringing the charitable spirit of #GivingTuesday to its community is no surprise to us at #GivingTuesday. Research has shown that women tend to donate more than their male counterparts. In the U.S., 64 percent of donations are made by women. And organizations that benefit women are strongly supported across all donors—45 percent of donors surveyed said they donate specifically to causes that support women and girls.

Ifeoma’s commitment to bringing the power of #GivingTuesday to her community has been awe-inspiring, but nothing less than expected for a woman who’s been so dedicated in serving other women in need. The service that the team at A Woman’s Place brings to the community is absolutely crucial.

On a personal note, #GTBucks has been very special to me because of Ifeoma herself—who, coincidentally, was my college roommate (see photo from college days, Ifeoma on the left and me on the right)! It’s been a pleasure to work with her on #GIvingTuesday, see her dedication to women’s issues (which we share), and witness up close how passion and dedication can make the world a better place.

Please join your community in giving by visiting #GivingTuesdayBucks to learn more about its impact and activities. You can make a donation and encourage friends and family to do so as well. Follow #GTBucks on Twitter and Facebook. And you can follow the global movement with #GivingTuesday.

Asha Curran
92nd Street Y
Director of the Center for Innovation & Social Impact
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AWP’s 2015 #GivingTuesday campaign, the Power Fund, seeks to raise $10,000 for a much-needed generator to keep residents at their safe shelter warm, safe, and fed. Learn more about AWP’s Power Fund, and make your gift today!

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