Organizations throughout Oxford and Lafayette County will participate in #GivingTuesday tomorrow to raise money for different charitable causes.
Giving Tuesday was established in 2012 by the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact. Every year, Giving Tuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The campaign enables organizations throughout the world to raise money for their philanthropies after the two biggest spending days of the year.
Any official charity, business, religious or community group that benefits at least one charity can register online to join the movement. Giving Tuesday seeks to get people involved with organizations near them to make a difference. Organizations such as the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County and Sustainable Oxford are gearing up to participate.
Ken Brummett, executive director of United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County, said its main goal is to use Giving Tuesday to raise funds for all its partners and coalitions, such as Boys & Girls Club of North Mississippi, Leap Frog, Interfaith Compassion Ministry, Lafayette County Literacy Council, Meals on Wheels and more.
“We do not have a defined total in mind when it comes to Giving Tuesday,” Brummett said. “Rather, we want to promote the impact of our dollars throughout the LOU community in hopes of moving individuals, businesses and organizations to give.”
In 2015, 98 different countries participated in Giving Tuesday. According to GivingTuesday.org, $177 million was raised through online donations, 1.64 million gifts were given online and 2.4 million social media engagements involving the campaign took place.
The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council has participated in past years, but this year, it decided to create its own fundraising initiative along with other local art groups, called “Day for Art.” It is an online giving event that raises money for local art organizations. The campaign is currently underway and ends January 23.
“The arts council has participated in the past, hoping to reach a wider audience interested in supporting arts education. We found that it did not have the desired results, as it conflicted with our own year-end donation drive,” YAC operations coordinator Caitlin Hopper said. “Local art groups have joined forces to create Day for Art, which we hope will introduce people to art and cultural groups in Lafayette County.”
The funds raised in the past for United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County on Giving Tuesday have not been significant, but Brumett said monetary gain is not entirely what the campaign is about.
“We are blessed to live in a community that embodies the philanthropic spirit throughout the year,” Brummett said. “The importance of Giving Tuesday is not based strictly on monetary gain. If we can raise awareness of our work and impact throughout the community, that is extremely important as we seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.”