The holidays are no longer limited to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Don’t forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the annual commercial holidays celebrated by merchants and shoppers alike. Now, we can add Giving Tuesday, which kicks off the charitable season when many people focus on end-of-the-year giving.
Held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving to encourage community giving, Giving Tuesday accounted for an estimated quarter billion dollars in donations to nonprofit organizations in 2017, according to Philanthropy News Digest.
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to discover and learn more about the different charities that serve our community. While you may already know which organizations you would like to support, it may be wise to pause for a moment before writing your check. What do you know about the organization? Who do they benefit? What is their budget? Who serves on their board? How long have they existed?
Those are all important questions that donors have a right to know and a responsibility to ask. That’s why the Oklahoma City Community Foundation established GiveSmartOKC, which is a clearinghouse of information that includes 300 nonprofit organizations in Oklahoma City and across the state. The site, located at GiveSmartOKC.org features descriptions of programs and services, contact information, financial history, board members and more.
The nonprofits provide the information to the Community Foundation voluntarily, and we make it available to the public free of charge. The site is fast, easy to use and it is exclusively focused on Oklahoma nonprofits. It also provides website links, where donors can make their donations online.
While we all want to give to organizations that we feel connected to or that we’re involved with in some way, it’s important to be thoughtful, to ensure gifts go to solid organizations that do the most good.
So, on Giving Tuesday, we hope GiveSmartOKC.org can be a resource that will help you support your favorite cause and make a true impact in your community. Happy Holidays.
By Nancy B. Anthony, Oklahoma City Community Foundation President
As featured in The Oklahoman.