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Giving Tuesday: Two Great Organizations, Thousands of Participants, One Day to Give

Giving Tuesday 2014

Today is Giving Tuesday, a chance to donate vital funds to worthy nonprofit organizations across the country. Now in its third year, the charitable social media event is bigger than ever, drawing in thousands of participants and raising millions for nonprofits.

Giving Tuesday in and of itself is a fantastic campaign and social media event. It challenges consumerist culture and invites people to give back rather than take during a time of year when storefronts and countless ads are telling us all to thoughtlessly consume. By now you’ve likely seen the trending hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media, but have you put any thought into who sparked this charitable campaign?

Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. According to the Giving Tuesday website, “Together with a team of influencers and founding partners, we launched a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.” In addition to the dozens of individual influencers, Giving Tuesday is made possible with help from Giving Institute, Lodestar Foundation, Giving USA Foundation, The Case Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CECP, and others.

92nd Street Y is a “world-class cultural community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation,” explains the organization of its more than 140 years as a leader in community building through the arts. “92Y enthusiastically welcomes and reaches out to people of all ages, races, faiths and backgrounds while embracing Jewish values like learning and self-improvement, the importance of family, the joy of life, and giving back to our wonderfully diverse and growing community, both locally and around the world,” says the organization.

The United Nations Foundation “links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations,” explains the organization. It’s the Foundation’s mission to fosters a more peaceful and just world, and works towards this goal by supporting programs like Giving Tuesday.

Interested in learning even more about the partners and founders of Giving Tuesday? Be sure to visit the campaign’s official website!

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How Much Impact did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Really Have?

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was one of the biggest and most visible charitable campaigns to take over social media this summer, but how much of an impact did the challenge really have? According to the ALS Association, the impact of the Ice Bucket Challenge was massive to say the least. Reportedly, donations to the ALS Association amounted to more than $110.5 million as of September 8.

Some critics have called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge a form of “slacktivism,” in which participants can feel good about uploading a video but don’t actually do anything to progress the cause. Others have called it downright egotistical, such as Vice’s Arielle Pardes who admonished the campaign, calling it “narcissism masked as altruism.” Despite being labeled a “slacktivist” campaign, the more than $100 million donated to the ALS Association would never have been garnered without the huge amount of public support that the Ice Bucket Challenge generated.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge ALS Association “The ALS Association is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from people all over the world. We thank you for participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge and for making donations to support our fight against the disease,” the organization posted on its website. According to the organization, 3 million donors contributed to the influx of vital funds, and countless more raised awareness about the deadly disease by uploading their videos and joining the conversation.

The mission of the ALS Association is to “lead the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.” Although the Ice Bucket Challenge was started as a way to help the organization achieve its ongoing mission, it turned into a campaign that succeeded in not only raising funds, but in creating awareness about a disease that is rarely talked about.

Learn more about ALS and the immense success of the Ice Bucket Challenge by visiting the ALS Foundation’s website.