By Sherri W. Morr
On #Giving Tuesday I received more than 100 requests to give money. Some organizations have me in triplicate so there were many repeat asks. Did I give to them more than once? Does that mean that they need to ask me more than once for #Giving Tuesday?
And then, How about this … The NY Times reported almost 300,000 people attended Broadway shows during Thanksgiving week. Imagine if all of those people gave just one dollar that would be $300,000 for nonprofits. And that was just the 37 Broadway theatres. The statistics did not count off Broadway, or even off off Broadway. Also it was an increase over Thanksgiving week 2014. More people are able to go out to the theatre and enjoy themselves, in spite of the high cost of living, and what it costs to go to the theatre, the fear and anxiety of being in crowds, and the worry over who Trump might want to attack, dismiss, or register next.
So if every person (clearly they can afford two bucks) gave just two dollars and off Broadway and off off Broadway were counted close to $1 million could have been raised. And if a generous donor like Mark Zuckerberg who is planning to give away 99% of his millions of Facebook shares, (during his lifetime, in honor of his new born daughter Maxima) would have matched all of the Broadway and off Broadway, and off off Broadway, well then #Giving Tuesday might not even have to happen.
How about that?
30,000 organizations in 68 countries participate in #Giving Tuesday; only 4 years old the idea of social media generosity and crowd swells has influenced scores of people to donate, many at the small level, but still, it gives donors a feeling of bonding together, socializing for the common good, and ultimately impacting change.
Because Tuesday was a mere five days from the onset of Chanukah, #Giving Tuesday for some Jewish organizations was tied to Chanukah, and the miracle of lights. A reminder of small acts that can transform history.
You have gorged on turkey, gave a acceptable amount of thanks, laid flat watching football for 3 to 6 hours, and then Friday, (AKA BLACK FRIDAY) you stood in line at the big box stores, Saturday you tested the waters at Small Shop Saturday to improve and support your local businesses, and then after Monday internet surfing for Cyber Monday what else was left to do but read the dozens of emails to give on #Giving Tuesday. On Wednesday many of those same organizations sent you thank you notes saying you rocked for raising $412,000, and only you know you did not give.
How about that?
Hundreds maybe even thousands of people work in nonprofits, community centers and civic organizations to help roll out #Giving Tuesday. They should all continue to work in their respective agencies and wonder over the power of people coming together, not knowing each other, not knowing the missions of each and every organization but knowing and believing their combined efforts will bring about some sort of social change, for someone they may or may not know. #Giving Tuesday will not have the billions to cure cancer or knock out Alzheimer’s, but hopefully someone may have a meal, or a small bit of extra hope.
How about that?
Sherri W. Morr has spent the last several decades working and consulting in the Jewish community as a fundraiser, a teacher, and trainer, most recently as Director of the Western U.S. at the Jewish National Fund for 12 years.