SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Giving Tuesday has been around the Peach State since 2012. It falls the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and it’s set aside to encourage giving in the wake of the shopping frenzies that begin with Black Friday and conclude on Cyber Monday.
The day has been branded “GAgives” by Georgia’s Center for Nonprofits. The group reports tens of thousands of donations have generated nearly $30 million for nonprofits in Georgia in the last seven years.
Organizations like America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia look forward to the effort each year. Executive Director Mary Jane Crouch says their food bank serves 21 counties and Giving Tuesday stimulates giving.
“We have a lot of matching gifts right now,” said Crouch, adding, “Fuji Oil right here in Savannah is gonna match people when they give us money, so that’s gonna help us.”
Nonprofits like the Humane Society of Greater Savannah also benefit from Giving Tuesday.
“All donations really keep our shelter running and keep it what it is today,” said Community Outreach Coordinator Biz Austin. “Without donations, we really couldn’t run, so Giving Tuesday is a really important day for us and for all nonprofits.”
Austin adds the monetary help only meets part of the need for nonprofits.
“We have a small staff, so volunteers are exactly what we need and today is a great day to inspire people to get out and volunteer,” Austin said and Crouch echoes the need for help in the form of sweat equity.
“Volunteerism is such a critical part of not only our operation but all non-profits,” she said.
The Georgia Center for Nonprofits reports more than $28 million has been raised on Giving Tuesday since 2012. Those monies come from 160,000 individual gifts.
Three thousand Peach State nonprofits benefited, and organizers say it doesn’t stop there.
“Studies show that people that volunteer live longer. They have a better feeling about themself,” Crouch said. “Depression goes down when people give, so there are a lot of helpful advantages to being able to be part of the community and be able to be giving back.”