With the holiday season kicking off, #GivingTuesday is just around the corner. A global movement, #GivingTuesday is a day focused on the two concepts of radical generosity: One, that the suffering of others should be as intolerable to us as our own suffering; and two, that this belief should be harnessed into individual giving by everyday people to address systemic injustice as part of a collective. #GivingTuesday is both a day of action and a moment of celebration of our interconnectedness and the inherent compassion of all members of society.
Built upon a marketing platform that spans 75 countries, #GivingTuesday is also a time when smaller nonprofits and grassroots organizations can get left by the wayside. Less likely to have a dedicated communications and marketing staff, in addition to a relentless cycle of movement building and programming needs, smaller entities may miss out — not only on dollars, but on new donors. Given grassroots organizations — particularly BIPOC and LGBTQIA+-led nonprofits — are the heart of climate justice and democracy work, both on and off-election cycle, this missed opportunity is dire. After all, only 2% of philanthropic funding currently goes to grassroots organizations.
It is critical on this international day of generosity that we seek out and support the organizations doing the highest impact work who rarely get visibility.
With a focus on uplifting humanity and climate-sustaining grassroots work that is steeped in racial justice, here are tips for planning your #GivingTuesday donations:
- Focus on swing states: Ongoing organizing is critical to voter turnout and there is no time like the present to start a habit of resourcing movements one to three years before an election, particularly where we know it will matter. Consider supporting grassroots work in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and/or Wisconsin. Find organizations to support from our partners at Movement Voter Project.
- Create a strategic giving plan: While tax deductions are a wonderful incentive for generosity, a lot of essential systems-level work happens with lobbying — 501(c)(4) organizations — and campaign contributions (Political Action Committees – PACS). Systems change requires not only organizing to surface community power and priorities, but electing officials with the ability to build the quorum necessary to pass community-centered legislation and campaigns. Intentionally supporting all three arms of this “three-legged stool” of change is not only smart philanthropy, but essential to long-term sustained impact that continues to hold elected officials accountable to BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities on the margins. Orient yourself to these critical tools that need your support (in addition to 501(c)(3) tax-deductible organizations) here and here.
- Invite a friend: Movements require awareness campaigns and narrative work. The structural divides between those with wealth and those on the margins of opportunity are both literal and conceptual. This #GivingTuesday — which is a collective day of giving — tell your colleagues and fellow donors where you are giving, why you are giving, and encourage them to join you in supporting work focused on climate justice and democracy. Bring your network along on the journey of being proximate to communities narrating their own solutions, in their own terms, for the sake of humanity.
#GivingTuesday is a great day to give, but this work must be long-term with strategies that sustain movements and support community-led policy change. Start your research on our Strengthening Democracy page and browse our new database of social justice nonprofits.
Original contribution by Afi Tengue, VP of Philanthropy and Impact, Giving Compass. Read past columns by Afi Tengue on LinkedIn.
Since you are interested in Impact Philanthropy, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and Impact Philanthropy?
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