What Is Giving Tuesday?
The organization I Live Here I Give Here (ILHIGH) is on a mission to make Central Texas the most generous community in the country. And every Tuesday after Thanksgiving they lead the community in one of the year’s biggest charity events — Giving Tuesday.
This global day of giving and unity, which falls on December 1 this year, is an opportunity for individuals and businesses to lend a hand to the area’s many nonprofits. While this is always a special event, it holds even greater significance this year.
As you can probably imagine, 2020 has all but pulled the rug out from under many nonprofit organizations. With many people strapped for cash and looking towards an uncertain future, donorship has taken quite a dip. In the weeks following the first wave of COVID lockdowns, 88% of nonprofits experienced a revenue loss of 15% or more. All of this has created a challenging climate for these organizations to operate in.
So this year, they are looking to all of us for help more than ever. Giving Tuesday is a particularly perfect time to find a cause that you are passionate about and lend your support. The ILHIGH sister website, AmplifyATX.org, makes it easy to find all of the nonprofit organizations they work with and engage with them directly, either by donating, volunteering, or fundraising on their behalf. There are hundreds of organizations to choose from, so we have highlighted just a few to help start your search!
For the past 10 years, the Austin Clubhouse has offered adults with mental health diagnoses a welcoming, judgement-free place to reach their full potential. The organization aims to provide a healthy community in which their members can live, work, and learn.
However, due to COVID-19, the Austin Clubhouse has been forced to close their physical location. As a result, they are now in need of funding to adapt their programs to this new reality. All donations directly support the Clubhouse’s ability to expand these efforts and continue bringing their work to their members.
Austin Creative Alliance
The Austin Creative Alliance (ACA) provides funding and services to arts and cultural institutions, as well as individual artists throughout Greater Austin. Through their work, they aim to strengthen and protect the character, quality of life, and economic prosperity of the region.
Austin is home to an incredible amount of artists and arts organizations, and the ACA makes it easy to find a specific project that you wish to support, or donate to the local arts community as a whole.
In response to COVID-19, the ACA established The Artists Emergency Relief Fund to help artists maintain their personal and financial stability. Donating to this fund is a great way to directly support the artists who help to create Austin’s vibrant energy.
Austin Parks Foundation
The Austin Parks Foundation (APF) has been working to preserve the city’s countless parks, pools, and green spaces for over 25 years. Without their work, Austin would not be the uniquely beautiful city that it is. Unfortunately, they have been impacted particularly hard in 2020.
Every year, APF receives millions of dollars via their partnership with the Austin City Limits Festival. This contribution makes up roughly half of their budget. This year, however, ACL Fest was cancelled due to COVID-19, leaving the Austin Parks Foundation with a sizable gap in their budget for 2021. This already translates to an 18 month delay in park improvement projects throughout the city.
Any donations to APF will help them fill this gap in their funding and allow them to continue their important work throughout the city. You can also find information on volunteering or becoming an ambassador here.
We All Have Something to Give
While #GivingTuesday may only happen once a year, it serves as a call for us to prioritize generosity as a community. Whether we donate our dollars, our time, or our voices, we all have the ability to contribute to positive change. Giving Tuesday provides plenty of resources to help you find opportunities in your area.
By incorporating giving into our lives, we can be better stewards of our communities, and better friends to our neighbors.