#GivingTuesdayNow is Today

It’s like Christmas in July for charities, with #GivingTuesdayNow taking place today in response to the unprecedented demand on services because of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

#GivingTuesday, typically held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, raised $511 million online in its eight years in existence in 2019, with an estimated $2 billion raised in both online and offline giving. Giving Tuesday will still take place Dec. 1 but #GivingTuesdayNow came together in the past month to drive generosity and citizen engagement for communities and nonprofits around the world.

Livestreams and matching gifts will be popular ways to engage supporters for #GivingTuesdayNow.

Facebook ​is partnering with GivingTuesday on a campaign that empowers local communities to come together through Facebook’s new Community Help tool to support their local communities including their neighbors, favorite local businesses and local nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19. Facebook and GivingTuesday will host a live fireside chat with Asha Curran, GivingTuesday CEO, and Naomi Gielt, vice president of social good at Facebook, to inspire and rally viewers to give to their local communities in whatever way they’re able to this #GivingTuesdayNow and beyond.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital​ is hosting a livestream event that invites audiences to Take 5 Together #forStJude and enjoy a moment to sing, dance, laugh and give back. Celebrities will “take 5” alongside St. Jude patients to inspire viewers during the stream. Take 5 Together #forStJude will be livestreamed across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram starting at 1 p.m. Central time with additional content on TikTok.

The Salvation Army will “highlight a united front against hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Dale Bannon, national director of community relations and development. “Asking all Americans to fight for good and offer hope through our giving,” Bannon said. Even if people don’t make a monetary gift, the Salvation Army is asking to join the effort by sharing a message of hope and posting a comment on Facebook or Instagram. They’re encouraging #10MinutesOfHope, taking 10 minutes to post positive stories or share thoughts and prayers, Bannon said.

Salvation Army National Commander David Hudson will broadcast via Facebook Live at 8:30 p.m. Eastern, asking donors and other participants to take 10 minutes to post positive stories, share thoughts and prayers.

The Salvation Army has seen unprecedented need. Nationwide, the organization has served 1 million food boxes within a month while in a typical full year it would provide 5 million bags of groceries and food boxes. “Those numbers represented all-time highs in every community we serve,” Bannon said. “GivingTuesdayNow couldn’t come at a better time to communicate our message about evolving services and meeting the most vulnerable needs in local communities.”

Digital giving between March 13 and May 3 is up 413 percent but that increase didn’t make up for the loss of revenue from thousands of Salvation Army thrift stores that have temporarily shuttered and canceled fundraising events, Bannon said. That comes after Red Kettle donations totaled $438.5 million in 2019, up 0.6 percent year-over-year. “Red Kettle” includes in-person donations, online gifts and direct mail response that reference Red Kettle. Cash donations at actual Red Kettles were down 11.6 percent, in part because of fewer days between the late Thanksgiving holiday and end of the year.

UJA-Federation of New York received an anonymous donation that will triple each gift made on #GivingTuesdayNow.

To date, UJA has allocated about $44 million to respond to the impact of the coronavirus, supporting partner organizations providing essential health and human services, Jewish Community Centers, low-income students, and single parents. UJA was among the organizations that joined the $75-million COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund.