If you’re reading the headline of this article and are now concerned that you’ve really lost track of time during this quarantine, don’t worry. Giving Tuesday is occurring twice this year: May 5 and December 1. Giving Tuesday has always aimed to transform communities through the generosity of people, and with everything going on in the world right now this generosity is needed more than ever.
“Everyone really wanted to do something to help ensure nonprofits could be able to operate and thrive despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic,” Aaron Gonzales, the co-executive director of the Catalogue for Philanthrophy of Greater Washington says of the Giving Tuesday Now initiative.
Regularly, the nonprofits highlighted in the Catalogue for Philanthropy take part in a heavily vetted application process that begins in the spring. Then, a large list filled with worthy organizations is distributed to homes around the D.C. area in late November to gear up for Giving Tuesday in early December. This vetting process allows the Catalogue for Philanthropy to gauge who needs assistance to become more effective in what they do and how. This month’s Giving Tuesday has been opened up to all nonprofits in the D.C. region. Gonzales and his team felt it was the only right thing to do as every organization is in need of help right now.
“I know there is a lot going on right now, but in times like these, community is more important than ever,” Gonzales says. “It’s important we come together to make sure these nonprofits not only survive this crisis, but are here to provide the critical services they provide once this has passed and help us rebuild once we’ve gotten through this pandemic.”
In the ongoing pandemic, unemployment has skyrocketed and people are feeling the financial strain. Gonzales and the organizations involved in Giving Tuesday Now understand that not everyone will be able to financially contribute as much as they’d like because of economic impact of the virus, but they are hopeful that the community will still come together to support the initiative.
“I think people out there will realize that everybody is in the same situation and want to help in any way they can,” Gonzales says. “Every gift counts, no matter how big or how small it is. It can still make a difference.”
While Giving Tuesday Now is viewed as emergency campaign to respond to immediate needs, the traditional Giving Tuesday will return in the fall wiser from this time. Gonzales hopes to gain insight on how the Catalogue for Philanthropy can better help the organizations they partner with in the future. “I think there’s a lot to learn from this period, and I think there will be a lot of other initiatives to come out of this.”
In spite of everything, or perhaps because of everything going on right now, people care about keeping nonprofits open beyond this crisis. As Gonzales video chats with applicants for the fall Giving Tuesday catalogue, he has been deeply moved by stories of Washingtonians stepping up to volunteer their time to organizations that are helping communities by distributing food and supplies.
“It’s been really impressive and, honestly, really inspiring to hear some of the stories of what’s going on out there and how people have stepped up to meet the needs of their community during this time.”
Visit www.cfp-dc.org or www.givingtuesday.org to learn how you can give back this Tuesday. Follow the initiative on Instagram @catalogueforphilanthropy or @givingtuesday for updates.
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