Charity over consumerism: Area nonprofits hope for generosity in online giving today

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Some local holiday gifts can make a world of difference on the other side of the world — including financial ones extended to Columbus agencies such as Mission Resource International. The faith-based entity, which gives low-interest loans to aspiring business owners and operators in several African nations, is matching donations dollar-for-dollar up to $11,000 today, thanks to a strong supporter.

It’s part of the eighth annual worldwide designation as Giving Tuesday, where generosity outshines consumerism.

Last year, in Mission Resource International’s first serious Giving Tuesday promotion — with just a last-minute online mention — it raised more than $26,000. That’s especially important to this agency, where $26,000 translates to $135,000 in Ghana, one of the key nations in which it works with budding businesses.

“We’ll just have to see what happens this year,” said David Ketchum. “We haven’t marketed quite as well as we did last year.”

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Giving Tuesday, launched globally in 2012, is conducted each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, also following two widely recognized shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday works to inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give to the nonprofits and charities and causes they support. Last year, people donated more than $400 million online alone on the special day, according to

Last year, the Columbus-based Clarity received a record of $105,511 on Giving Tuesday, according to Victoria Yeaton, marketing and events coordinator. That is among one of the strongest recorded celebrations of the day locally. Individual donations ranged from $10 to $10,000.

Clarity provides everything from sexuality education in the schools to pregnancy testing and more.

“This is basically our end-of-the-year campaign,” Yeaton said. “And our matching funds are really what drive this.”

This year, contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $60,000 for Clarity of South Central Indiana.

The local Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center supports struggling, low-income downtown Columbus families in a myriad of practical ways. Diane Doup, the center’s community outreach coordinator, said some of the agency’s supporters have given in the name of a loved one in the holiday spirit. Lincoln-Central staff notifies the loved one or friend of the gift.

“Oftentimes, people simply are looking for ways to give a gift for people who seem to have a lot of material items,” Doup said. “And Giving Tuesday is a wonderful day to do that, by reaching out to the nonprofit community that’s making such a wonderful difference.

“It’s a great way to give back, and also a way to honor those who are very fortunate.”

Exhibit Columbus marked what its leaders called a “soft launch” last Tuesday of its first Giving Tuesday promotion today.

“We just now are able to take online donations,” said Richard McCoy, executive director of Landmark Columbus, the umbrella agency over Exhibit Columbus. “But we’re always looking for innovative ways to connect with people who support our work. We’re growing as an organization and trying to get better at a variety of ways we can connect with people, and to let people know about the impact we’re making.”

The Columbus-based Turning Point Domestic Violence Services is using the current Giving Tuesday “to focus on giving thanks this year, and not a really hard-pressed solicitation or a hard, direct ask (for funds),” said Elisabeth Jones, vice president of resource development. “Our campaign this year is hashtag giving thanks.”

But she mentioned that Turning Point is in the midst of its end-of-the-year $120,000 campaign, with the goal more than halfway met.

“So, we’re feeling pretty good about that,” Jones said. “And we certainly would love for people to continue to support us.”

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Some facts about Giving Tuesday:

  • Launched in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.
  • $400 million and 3.6 million online gifts donated in 2018 in 150 countries.
  • Made more than 14.2 billion social media impressions in 2018.
  • This year, Giving Tuesday became extensive enough that it birthed its own organization.

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To learn more about local organizations participating in, go to the website and use its search function to find charities in your location.