First there was Black Friday. Then Cyber Monday, followed by Small Business Saturday.
Now it is time for Giving Tuesday, or #GivingTuesday for those posting on social media.
It is a day to highlight philanthropy following the post-Thanksgiving shopping sprees, and this year, the Topeka Community Foundation is encouraging Shawnee County residents to tell stories of how the generosity of others has helped them. The hope is that the stories will inspire people to give, but the foundation will also use them to select a group of 2018 grant recipients, said president Marsha Pope.
“We’re inviting people to share stories about the generosity of their family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, whoever,” she said. “We feel like when people share stories about generosity it inspires others to give their time, talent and treasure.”
From Tuesday through Dec. 28, the foundation will take tales of giving on its website. Based on the stories submitted, TCF will select grant recipients — typically community nonprofits — shortly after the first of the year.
TCF hasn’t decided how many grants it will award or how much money will be given, Pope said.
“We’re really not putting a whole lot of rules on this thing,” Pope said, adding that the only rule was the foundation and story of generosity must be based in Shawnee County. “We want to hear from every portion of the county. We’re hoping for really diverse stories of giving.”
The foundation has awarded more than $2.8 million in grants so far this year, Pope said.
Giving Tuesday launched in 2012 with a partnership between New York’s 92nd Street Y, a New York City community center, and United Nations Foundation, according to www.givingtuesday.org. It has since grown into a national campaign that encourages a global day of giving.
For those wanting to give directly to an organization, a search on the Giving Tuesday website showed 21 Topeka-based community groups.
In the past, TCF held a reception on Giving Tuesday to celebrate grants given throughout the year. Last year, the foundation awarded nearly $2.5 million. This year, Pope said, TCF wanted to shift the focus onto the community.
“We really wanted to take the spotlight off us,” she said.
Contact reporter Luke Ranker at (785) 295-1270 or @lrankerNEWS on Twitter. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/lukeranker.