On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday, Nov. 27, calls attention to online — and real time — opportunities to support nonprofit organizations in the true spirit of the holiday season.
“This is a nice alternative to the consumer culture that invites people to think in terms of giving back to their communities,” said Jamie Manser, public relations director for the Watershed Management Group, one of numerous local nonprofits participating in the global day of giving centered around collaboration and social media.
Developed in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City to connect individuals, communities and organizations for “one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving,” the event raised more than $300 million last year through 2.5 million gifts across 150 countries.
Locally, 216 participating organizations represent diverse interests including animals, the arts, children, community development, education, the environment, human services, seniors and more. Participants range from community stalwarts such as YWCA Southern Arizona and Friends of Pima Animal Care Center to smaller, lesser-known groups such as Owl & Panther, whose mission is to provide meaningful and healing expressive arts experiences for refugee families resettled in Tucson; and New Creation Trades, which offers sewing training and equipment to enable under-resourced individuals to become self-sufficient through the textile trades.
Friends of Pima Animal Care Center hope to raise at least $15,000 during the one-day event, according to marketing director Sara Wolfe Vaughan.
“We wanted to be part of the festivities and celebrate the incredible things that can happen when the community comes together for causes they hold dear ... we know the people of Pima County love animals, and this will help to fund life-saving programming along with critical medical supplies and services for that extra level of care at our beautiful new campus,” said Vaughan, who emphasized that PACC is the only animal shelter in Pima County that never turns away a pet.
“We have more than 600 animals on site and have taken in more than 17,000 animals to date this year. Any animal that comes to us, we will get them the help that they need,” she said.
The event is equally important to Watershed Management Group, which seeks to raise $20,000 during the day of giving to aid in its mission of developing community-based solutions to ensure the long-term health and prosperity of the community by providing the public with knowledge, skills and resources for sustainable livelihoods.
The nonprofit will also celebrate the launch of its annual end-of-year fundraising campaign during Rainwater on Tap: A #GivingTuesday Happy Hour, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the WMG Living Lab and Learning Center, 1137 N. Dodge Blvd. The pre-paid cover charge of $15 includes two drink tickets; $20 at the door. Register online at watershedmg.org/event/rainwater-tap-givingtuesday-happy-hour-0
“We are also celebrating 10 years of our Green Living Co-op Program, which is really exciting. With the projects we have done over last the decade, people are harvesting 5 million gallons of rainwater annually in Tucson and in the Phoenix Valley. We want to connect with our donors and supporters and celebrate rainwater abundance with cocktails, pizza and live music,” Manser said.
The Green Living Co-op offers members the opportunity to exchange sweat equity in water-harvesting and landscape projects for assistance with their own projects; other water and environmental conservation programs include the Living Lab & Learning Center, free River Run Network Creek walks, free classes on Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater Harvesting; YogaFlow classes and more.