Genius Expert: Join Your Community to Give Back on Giving Tuesday

141 kind acts of good share charlotte event

Melissa Hovey is the marketing director of SHARE Charlotte, a one-stop shop to connect with 450 Charlotte nonprofits. SHARE offers simple ways for neighbors, nonprofits and businesses to come together through good to support the Charlotte community. The group has powered #GivingTuesdayCLT since 2014, the local response to the global Giving Tuesday movement.

share charlotte marketing director melissa hovey
Melissa Hovey
SignUpGenius: How does SHARE Charlotte power the Giving Tuesday movement in Charlotte?

Hovey: SHARE Charlotte created and hosts #GivingTuesdayCLT to bring together hundreds of local nonprofits as well as corporations, local businesses, community organizations and individuals through our site. Now in our 6th year, our goal for #GivingTuesdayCLT is to:

  • Celebrate and promote acts of giving such as financial gifts, volunteer time or donated goods.
  • Educate the public on the critical work Charlotte nonprofits are doing.
  • Keep Charlotte on the global #GivingTuesday map as a caring and philanthropic community.
SUG: How has the #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign grown since you launched in 2014?

Hovey: #GivingTuesdayCLT has influenced more than $24 million in gifts to Charlotte nonprofits and inspired 15,000 new donors to find a local nonprofit and give! We started with 87 nonprofits in 2014 and now we work with 447 local nonprofits.

#GivingTuesdayCLT was the largest community-wide campaign in 2016. See how we did it and watch the 2018 #GivingTuesdayCLT recap.

SUG: How have you seen the power of people joining together to uplift our community?

Hovey: There have been so many inspiring stories of generosity over the past five years of corporations, local businesses and individuals giving to local nonprofits in tremendous ways.  In fact, in 2018 we counted the "Acts of Kindness" that the Charlotte community gave to local nonprofits and in one week (November 20-27) we counted 147,333 acts of kindness which included social media activism, gifts of money, time and resources, tangible goods or attendance at nonprofit events.

SUG: What are your plans for #GivingTuesdayCLT this year? How will you measure the impact and success?

Hovey: This year we are inviting 1 million people to give to a local nonprofit. We believe everyone has something good to give, but not everyone is invited to do so based on a variety of factors, such as unconscious bias and presumption.

That's why SHARE Charlotte's goal this #GivingTuesdayCLT is inclusion. We will invite 1 million people in Mecklenburg County to be a part of #GivingTuesdayCLT by making a financial gift or volunteering their time and resources to a local nonprofit on Tuesday, December 3rd.  The size of the gift does not matter.  What matters is making everyone in our community feel that their gift is an important part of making Charlotte stronger.

After Dec 3rd, we will be excited to hear from our nonprofits about the generosity that was inspired by #GivingTuesdayCLT. Since #GivingTuesday has become the largest day of online giving (eclipsing Dec 31st), we expect to see Charlotteans giving back in big ways!

SUG: In addition to donating to nonprofits, what are some ways people can give back on Giving Tuesday?

Hovey: We encourage the community to give in any way that feels right for them, which could include pledging volunteer time in 2020, buying something off of an organization's Amazon wish list or sharing a nonprofit's social media posts with your family and friends. Sharing your reach and influence is an easy way to help a nonprofit extend their message to the community.

SUG: If people want to plan a Giving Tuesday event for a group or business, what are some ideas?

Hovey: The best place to start is by doing research on local nonprofits and finding a cause you are passionate about supporting. Think about needs in your community that resonate with you and what organizations are making a difference in those areas.

Common ways groups and businesses can support local nonprofits:

  • Businesses can offer in-kind gifts of service, product or a percentage of sales. 
  • Groups can collect items local nonprofits need such as coats, toiletry items, food, etc.
  • Groups and businesses can volunteer time or pledge time to serve in 2020.
SUG: How can we continue the Giving Tuesday spirit year-round? How can we get our kids excited about making a difference in our communities?

Hovey: Giving back is a great topic to bring up at the dinner table. Ask kids about the causes that matter most to them. Choose a family-friendly activity to do together as you support a local nonprofit.

Whether it's making sandwiches for a shelter, collecting toys or books for kids in need, or donating pet food to an animal shelter, there are always ways your family can help. You'll not only make a difference in your community but make lasting memories together.

Thanks to Melissa for sharing the #GivingTuesdayCLT story! Want to give back in your community? Check out these 100 ways to give back on Giving Tuesday.