Henry Timms, Interim Executive Director of 92Y and Founder of #GivingTuesday.
From our Deputy Director Henry Timms in Harvard Business Review, discussing #GivingTuesday.
1. Think movement, not initiative
2. Think upload, not download
3. Think current, not currency
4. Think tools, not rules
"The challenge ahead, for any organization trying to create movements at scale," Henry concluded, "is not simply to master social media, but to learn to shape and support social communities."
It’s #GivingTuesday, the icing on the cake to #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday; it’s the day that we give en masse because really, all this spending and spending on material items is fine, but it’s better if paired with giving back.
But where to give? I asked some people their ideas, which I am excited to share with you along with a few of my favorites.
- From Jess in Los Angeles, CA, there’s Campfire USA, an organization that emphasizes leadership and service with youth. Fun fact: their motto is “WoHeLo,” an acronym for Work, Health, Love, which embodies the welcoming and supportive camp spirit.
- From both Daniel and Kent (independently!) in Queens, NY, there’s Child’s Play a nonprofit that donates video games to children’s hospitals. Says Kent, “While I cannot cure a single disease or injury, by donating to this charity I know that I can, at the very least, make some children happy, and forget about pain and needles and examinations and boredom, if just for a little bit.”
- From Jenni in Boston, MA, there’s a service learning immersion trip to Nicaragua in January 2013 for Boston College undergraduate students that you can donate to here. Jenni also makes jewelry and donates 15% of profits from those with pink beads to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
- From Amber in Washington, DC, there’s Mobilize.org, an organization that empowers and invests in Millennials.
- From Brady* in Brooklyn, NY, there’s Natural Resources Defense Council, which works to protect wildlife and wild places and to ensure a healthy environment for all life on earth, and the Innocence Project, a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people.
- From Jess in Norwich, CT, there’s Jane Doe Inc, which is the Mass. Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
- From Davin in Santa Monica, CA, there’s Innovations for Poverty Action, which uses research techniques to develop and test solutions to real-world problems faced by developing countries.
- From Carolan in Boston, MA, there’s Last Hope K9, an animal rescue organization.
- From Doug in Washington, DC, there’s Congressional Chorus, which provides musical education to youth in the DC area.
- From Margaret in Brooklyn, NY, there’s Our Time, which helps kids who stutter to gain confidence while exploring artistic expression.
My personal favorites: LIFT (one stop social service agency empowering community members through employment, public benefits, skill development, taxes, and more), City Harvest (food rescue and distribution in NYC), New York Cares (powerhouse hub of volunteer opportunities in NYC), Artistic Noise (helping juvenile delinquents grow leadership skills and process experiences through art), and Health Horizons (improving health and healthcare in communities in the Dominican Republic).
And, if you don’t know exactly where to give, check out sites like donorschoose.org (thanks Oriana!), onepercentfoundation.org (a favorite of mine), networkforgood.org (the hub of online giving), and of course givingtuesday.org.
*A thought on giving that Brady shared that I completely agree with:
While it’s great that lots of people have given lots of donations for Hurricane Sandy recovery, I’d encourage people to dig a bit deeper and remember the charities that *aren’t* Sandy related. I feel that most people sensibly have a set amount of charity they typically contribute in general, and something like Sandy obviously is a headliner that requires a lot of help. But I think that might actually hurt some of the smaller charities that rely on donations but don’t get a piece of the Sandy stuff….
We are loving the #GivingTuesday posts today.
I'm climbing Kilimanjaro this spring, and I'm raising money to help girls in Tanzania achieve their dreams, too. →
A few years back, somewhere between a half-decade and a decade ago, I fell in love with being outside and all the exciting challenges and dreams associated with it. It didn’t happen instantly. I was raised to be an indoor kid, and trust me, it was hard to shake off. One time, I got separated from the group and lost for hours and decided I’d never hike again. Another time, while trying to climb my first mountain at age 20 (in the same trip as depicted in the picture above) I hit a mental barrier and gave up about halfway to the summit and figured I should go back to jogging on a treadmill. But the outdoors kept calling me back, and now a few years later I’ve stood on summits of varying heights in the desert and in the jungle and on snowshoes, finished a marathon, and (in a moment of particularly strong East Coast pride) made it over the Devil’s Path. Nothing too hyperbolic, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.
I don’t think I would have ever tapped into that desire to get outside and explore and push my personal limits without a few very important female role models along the way. So I’m proud to announce on this inaugural Giving Tuesday that I’m participating in a big and ambitious project with a group called Ladies Trekking. They’re a grassroots group of women in Europe who have accomplished a personal goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania as well as give back to local communities — specifically through education, and for girls in particular. For the past few years they’ve organized “Ladies Trekking Weeks” in which women split their time between mountaineering and getting to know local villages and schools on a firsthand basis so that they can give back in the most effective and accountable ways.
This year, Ladies Trekking Week 2013 is going global, and a handful of women from around the world will be joining them in their annual Kilimanjaro climb as “ambassadors.” Including me! And my friend Cheryl Yeoh! And in advance of our trip in late February, Cheryl and I are teaming up on a joint fundraiser to support Ladies Trekking’s goals of adventure and philanthropy.
Our fundraising goals are twofold. One, we’re raising money for Ladies Trekking’s nonprofit arm, the Impatiens Kilimanjari Foundation, which is supplying classrooms in rural Tanzania with textbooks and school supplies and is paying the tuition to send high-achieving Maasai girls to secondary school. Two, we’re also raising money to publish a book tentatively titled Dreamers and Doers, a set of essays by women from around the world who have climbed Kilimanjaro and the personal “mountains” they had to conquer along the way. We hope that through the publication of this book, more girls and women around the world will be inspired to set big personal goals, experience the outdoors, and realize the many ways in which they can help the communities where they climb. (Your donations are not going toward our travel costs.)
In my time spent outdoors, be it on a slope or on the water, I’ve met so many amazing women with incredible stories about their personal struggles and how they have connected with a sense of challenge and accomplishment in the outdoors that gave them newfound confidence. Some of them feel a deep and spiritual connection between their desire to explore and protect the outdoors and their roles as mothers. Others are regaining their footing after trauma and tragedy. Others, like me, see adventure as a way to get past barriers that we were brought up to think were non-negotiable. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of a project that is gathering the stories of women in the hopes of inspiring others, while bringing us all together in realization that the places where we climb and accomplish these tremendous personal goals are places where we can provide support and inspiration as well. I’d love to see Ladies Trekking’s spirit of connecting outdoors-loving women with good causes in the places where they climb take root in other parts of the world, too. But for now, it’s just the beginning.
There are many, many other worthy causes seeking support on Giving Tuesday (New Yorkers, please also consider donating to things that are close to home) and we are aware that budgets are tight (us included!) We are happy with the most modest of donations, or even just words of encouragement and some help spreading the news about our campaign.
Over the next couple of months I plan to post a lot of updates about the physical and mental preparation for traveling to Africa and climbing a mountain (I’m a little nervous about the altitude already) and also to thank the people who have already encouraged me so much along the way. If you’ve read this far, I already owe you a thank-you. I’m looking forward to connecting with more of you and learning from everyone as this incredible experience unfolds.
Boring stuff about taxes (since somebody was going to ask). I’ve been in touch with Ladies Trekking for a couple of months now, and working with their team (Hi, Katrina!) has been very inspiring. They’re really small, and they’re working with hikers, donors, and supporters around the world. Cheryl and I have been helping them make their fundraising process U.S.-friendly, but it’s extremely hard for a small European nonprofit to earn full 501(c)3 status in the States — they’d need to launch a new U.S. arm with separate leadership, and they don’t have the resources for that. Your donations through our page on Fundly will go straight to Impatiens Kilimanjari minus a transaction fee that helps keep Fundly afloat. It unfortunately is not tax-deductible. If you want to make an (extremely generous!) donation of over $500, however, Ladies Trekking and Impatiens Kilimanjari have gone through an accreditation process with CAFamerica, and larger donations can consequently be routed through CAFamerica to make them tax-deductible. Please contact me for details.
Looking for ideas on what to give on Tuesday? Start here.
Black Friday, Cyber Monday – we’re all familiar with these benchmarks of the holiday shopping season. But holiday shopping, after all, is about giving gifts. So some folks at 92nd Street Y started thinking about giving in a wider sense, and dreamed up #GivingTuesday – a day to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the holiday season. It might have just remained a good idea, but when 92Y started talking to friends and leaders at other institutions, it quickly became clear that setting aside a day for giving could become a powerful reality.
That’s why a group of 27 partners, including (RED), American Red Cross, Blackbaud, charity: water, Crowdrise, DonorsChoose, Groupon, Mashable, Microsoft, Skype, the UN Foundation and more (full list of partners here) have just launched the #GivingTuesday movement. On Tuesday, November 27, people everywhere, including retailers, charities, online organizations, community centers, individuals, families and more, will come together with one common purpose – to help others and celebrate the great American spirit of contribution.
You can join the #GivingTuesday movement by committing to give back to your favorite charity on Nov. 27, or participate in one of the many #GivingTuesday partner initiatives – visit the #GivingTuesday website and Facebook page to see how. Follow @GivingTues on Twitter and use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to spread the word and share your ideas with all of us.