Now in its 8th year, Giving Tuesday continues to grow

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's Giving Tuesday, and the charitable effort is in its eighth year and is growing. 

"Instead of celebrating spending money, what about celebrating giving money," which became the idea behind Giving Tuesday, explained Jon Biedermann, vice president of fundraising products for Softerware. 

The organization runs a platform called DonorPerfect and was part of the kickoff of Giving Tuesday in 2012. Biedermann said nonprofits receive roughly a quarter of the donations in December and Giving Tuesday has become the catalyst to it all.

"Donors that start on Giving Tuesday with nonprofits actually have a higher donation amount, which means they also last longer, which means they are more committed to the organization as a whole," he said.

Biedermann said Giving Tuesday efforts are most effective if a nonprofit identifies a target amount or gets matching donations. Last year, nearly $400 million was raised, and he expects an uptick this year.

"Very easily half a billion dollars for Giving Tuesday," he said. 

More than half of their DonorPerfect's 10,000 nonprofits are participating in Giving Tuesday, which is up 40% from last year. Donations range from $1.5 to $1 million.

Scores of Philadelphia-area nonprofits are using that method, like Gary Bell of Bebashi: Transition to Hope, which has a $3,000 goal that he says will go a long way to help those in need.

"A $50 donation will help folks who don't have proper identification, $25 will someone to get around on public transportation," he said. 

The Travis Manion Foundation, one of the largest veteran nonprofits, has received a generous gift and is hoping people will help the organization match it.

"One of our most generous and passionate supporters has pledged to help us raise up to a million dollars that he is going to match for us, to help fund our programming in the way that we support veterans and families of the fallen," said the foundation's Josh Jabin.

Jabin said the money is used to help families support each other and build relationships. Special trips are also planned for those survivors.

"Specifically, for families of the fallen, we take them on weeklong what we call "expeditions," to go out and serve in honor of their fallen hero," he explained. 

The expeditions also allow families to do service projects, which Jabin said builds camaraderie and support for these people. All donations, large or small, will be matched through Dec. 31.

"We have thousands of smaller individual donors, everything from $50 to $100, upwards of $1,000 and above," he added. 

To find participating nonprofits, search #GivingTuesday online and on social media.