Remember: November is a month for giving

By Devan Gagliardo is the program director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

Nov. 10, 2016

November is a month known for Veterans Day, elections, time change, Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But for those of us in the nonprofit sector, there are a few more important days in November… National Philanthropy Day and Giving Tuesday.

According to Giving USA, the vast majority of giving is done by individuals. In fact, in 2015 71 percent of all giving or $264.58 billion was given by individuals.

However, if you ask many area organizations, they will most likely tell you they need to increase their donor base. So where exactly is this $264.58 billion going?

According to Giving USA, 32 percent or $119.30 billion of the giving goes to religious organizations, 15 percent, or $57.48 billion, to education, and 12 percent, or $45.21 billion, to human services.

Are you one of those who are giving?

Or are you someone who would like to give and don’t know where to give? Are you one of the recipient organizations or would you like to be? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then listen up.

There are two great opportunities for both donors and nonprofits coming up in the month of November.

The first is Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day.

National Philanthropy Day is a day to celebrate giving, volunteering and charitable engagement, and the impact it has on our society and world.

On Nov. 15, the Community Foundation of Grundy County is hosting a workshop at the Morris Country Club from noon to 5 p.m. for all nonprofit staff and board members.

Drake Zimmerman will be our guest speaker.

He has over 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit world and will talk to the group about starting or improving donor relations.

In addition, he will discuss how to approach individual donors, developing deeper relationships with current donors, and making or improving your marketing plan.

There is a $15 fee for the event and you must RSVP by calling 815-941-0852 by Nov. 11.

The second event is Giving Tuesday.

After Thanksgiving comes a series of shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on these days.

In fact, according to CNN Money, in 2015, $2.74 billion was spent shopping online alone on Black Friday and a whopping $3.07 billion was spent on Cyber Monday last year.

In 2012, a team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact created Giving Tuesday as a way to motivate individuals to explore a different type of spending, one that has far more impact than the purchase of the latest video game system.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that kicks off the charitable season when many begin to think about year-end giving.

Just imagine if a fraction of what Americans spend on material items in the days following Thanksgiving would be given to organizations that feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate our children, or provide services to individuals with disabilities.

The result would be life changing for the organizations, people they serve, and I would even argue the donors themselves.

Although more information will be offered in the coming weeks on the local Giving Tuesday movement, you can also check out to find out more about the statewide movement.

I would encourage each of you to participate in Giving Tuesday… no gift is too big or too small.

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