Capital Region nonprofits hope #GivingTuesday is set to take off

By BETHANY BUMP
Gazette Reporter

CAPITAL REGION — Capital Region nonprofits are doing their part to raise awareness today for #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to charities, nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups across the globe.

Founded in 2012 by 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation, the #GivingTuesday campaign was envisioned as a philanthropic antidote to the consumerism that surrounds Black Friday weekend. Now in its third year, more charities than ever are using the hashtag campaign to generate buzz around giving this holiday season.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady is using the day to kick off a monthlong campaign of awareness and fundraising it has dubbed “Give the Gift of a Great Future.”

Today at 4 p.m., nearly three dozen members of the youth development organization will perform a flash mob dance at Price Chopper on Altamont Avenue in Rotterdam to help kick off the campaign.

Price Chopper is partnering on the effort, and company spokeswoman Mona Golub will deliver a speech about the organization’s efforts when the flash mob is done. Also, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy will issue a proclamation declaring December “Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady month” in the city. Local businesses will present checks, as well.

“We hope to engage our entire community as we take huge steps to raise awareness of our important mission,” Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Shane Bargy said in a news release issued Monday.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Schenectady serve nearly 12,000 children and teenagers in the area. It has provided youth development programs since 1936, working to develop character, leadership, creativity, health, fitness and life skills.

Northern Rivers Family Services, realizing the power of a hashtag, is launching its own #GivingTuesday effort using the hashtag #EveryChildDeserves. With the help of insurance brokerage firm Rose & Kiernan, the nonprofit is encouraging people to make donations that will benefit the more than 13,000 children and family members it serves each year with social service programs.

A group of 31 ambassadors from Northern Rivers affiliates Northeast Parent and Child Society of Schenectady and Parsons Child and Family Center in Albany have been hashtagging up a storm in recent days to encourage donations. Rose & Kiernan will kick off the #GivingTuesday and #EveryChildDeserves campaign with a $2,500 donation, and has pledged to match donations up to an additional $2,500.

“In response to global trends in philanthropy, Northern Rivers is transforming fundraising initiatives by introducing innovative strategies to raise funds, better connect with donors and broaden our reach to new audiences,” Northern Rivers Chief Development Officer Sari O’Connor said in a news release. “Through enhanced technology and the use of social media platforms, we are able to create digital grass-roots opportunities for our community partners, Giving Tuesday ambassadors, and new friends to engage in our mission in meaningful ways.”

This story originally appeared in The Daily Gazette.