Opinion: Giving Tuesday needs generous Georgians

Just as inflation has affected everyone’s cost of living, it has also elevated the cost of nonprofit operations while chipping away at the foundation of nonprofit revenue.

We know that Georgians are some of the most generous people around, and we know that they value nonprofits. For proof, just look at the past 10 years of the GAgives on GivingTuesday movement, which has raised over $90 million during that time in support of everything nonprofits do to strengthen our communities and care for us all – from protecting our wild spaces and parks to caring for the sick, providing relief during crises, housing those without homes and so much more.

Credit: contributed

Credit: contributed

During this season of giving and connecting, we are asking you to play a part in supporting what you care about by giving to a nonprofit, and by encouraging those like you – your friends, family and online connections – to give as well. The GAgives on GivingTuesday campaign, culminating with a 24-hour bonanza of giving on November 29, makes it simple: via our official giving platform at GAgives.org, you can easily sort by the causes and locations that are most important to you, then share your #GAgenerosity on social media to inspire others.

As we all know, nonprofits play a critical role in all of our lives, especially when we’re facing challenges like illness, poverty and unforeseen emergencies. But nonprofits are facing challenges as well. Just as inflation has affected everyone’s cost of living, it has also elevated the cost of nonprofit operations while chipping away at the foundation of nonprofit revenue: donations from caring individuals.

While grants and major donors are invaluable, the lifeblood of nonprofits are smaller gifts – donations of $250 or less make up 60 percent of the nonprofit sector’s revenue. Unfortunately, those gifts have been declining: compared to last year, donations from individuals dropped nationwide by 7 percent in the first half of 2022, with the number of people giving $100 or less plummeting by 17 percent.

What you must know is that gifts of all sizes can make a great impact on nonprofits’ ability to serve your community, particularly through a broad-based movement like GAgives on GivingTuesday. You can even make a gift of your online connections – sharing love and thanks for the nonprofits in our communities is proven to move those in your family and friend networks to give. That’s why we organized the 30 Days of #GAgenerosity social media campaign this year, providing a new thankfulness prompt for each day of November that Georgians can use to honor their favorite people, places, and organizations while building momentum for GAgives on GivingTuesday.

In addition, as little as $5 donated through GAgives.org will give your favorite nonprofit the chance to win up to an additional $3,000, thanks to generous prize sponsors, including WestRock and the Arby’s Foundation. Highlighting the fact that every gift can make an incredible impact, our sponsors have contributed a total of $40,000 for GAgives contests that award additional funds to nonprofits based on the number of people donating (not the amount!), both over the full course of the GAgives campaign and during select GivingTuesday “Power Hours.”

Since its beginning 12 years ago, and even through the pandemic, the GAgives movement has inspired hundreds of thousands of donations and close to $100 million raised – over $27 million last year alone! As our nonprofits are being called upon to do more than ever – despite a decline in staffing, volunteers, and funding – let’s call upon ourselves to put #GAgenerosity into action and make this another record-breaking season of giving.

And whether your passion is education, the environment, animals, children, healthcare, or the many other key issues that our nonprofit organizations are championing, don’t just give – encourage your friends, families and coworkers to take part too. When we join together in giving, we ready our nonprofits to clear the hurdles in their way, propel their communities across the finish line and have enough reserves left over to take a well-deserved victory lap.

Show nonprofits your generosity, Georgia, and they’ll show you what an incredible impact we can make together!

Karen Beavor is founder and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.