Last Tuesday, November 29, was a global day of giving known as Giving Tuesday. Locally, Marion Community Foundation and United Way of Marion County partnered to raise funds, to the tune of $5,228.
The partnership between the two organizations sought to increase support for United Way in two ways—long-term via gifts to the United Way Endowment Fund at Marion Community Foundation; and, immediate by matching gifts to the local 2016 Campaign.
“We wanted to build the principal of the United Way Endowment Fund,” said Amber Wertman, Executive Director of United Way of Marion County, “because it benefits our work forever. We were able to utilize funds generously left to us by George Alber to match those gifts with contributions to the campaign. This offered the donors the ability to give once and gift twice.”
The two organizations also combined forces with a promotional campaign in advance of Giving Tuesday.
“Giving Tuesday is largely a social media event,” said Lori S. Stevenson, Communications Manager for Marion Community Foundation. “We announced this ‘two for one’ donation opportunity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, in addition to sending postcards and email to past donors and purchasing a banner ad on MarionStar.com.”
A link to their secure online giving portal was set up by Marion Community Foundation on their website specifically for Giving Tuesday which allowed donors to make credit card donations to the United Way Endowment Fund. This fund, which was established in 2004 at Marion Community Foundation, is an organizational endowment fund that annually awards a grant to United Way of Marion County for its operations.
During Giving Tuesday, local donors made contributions, either online or by check, and matching campaign donations were made on their behalf.
“We are happy to be able to partner with other nonprofits for the benefit of Marion, Ohio,” said Dean Jacob, President and CEO of Marion Community Foundation. “The Marion Community Foundation exists to help Marion succeed and one of the ways we do this is through organizational endowment funds. Nonprofits like United Way–and many other organizations which have set up similar funds–can establish endowments and create a permanent source of annual income for their operations and programs. This gives donors an easy way to contribute to organizations that are important to them and know that their gift will make a difference, forever.”
Giving Tuesday began in 2012 and raised $13.5 million. In 2016, the total grew to $168 million worldwide.
“In the same way that Black Friday and Cyber Monday kick off the buying season, #GivingTuesday kicks off the giving season,” said Wertman. “It’s a day to step back from the commercialization and consumerism that comes with the holiday season, and promote doing good for others. We appreciate all who made this Giving Tuesday a part of their holiday season.”