Gratitude Wednesday: An Open-Ended Post-Giving Tuesday Thank You

December 3, 2014
Dear Friends, Today is #GratitudeWednesday.  Ok.  Maybe I just made that up.  But what else should I call the day that comes after #GivingTuesday? There is so much to be grateful for. When our friends at the 92nd Street Y invited the RAC to partner with them on #GivingTuesday, we had little idea about what we were getting ourselves into. Nonetheless, we jumped in feet first.  And I am so glad that we did. For all of us at the RAC, this #GivingTuesday was so much more than a simple fundraising effort.  It provided an opportunity to good and to encourage others to do the same. Our efforts and many successes this #GivingTuesday are the result of several collaborations:
  • First, to everyone who made a financial contribution to the RAC on #GivingTuesday, thank you! Your support is vital to the success of our advocacy work, coalitional efforts, online resources and educational programs.
  • #GivingTuesday is a digital campaign. Thank you to the countless friends and fans of the RAC who shared our Facebook statuses, retweeted our messages and watched and forwarded the video. The ripple effect has been outstanding.
  • To Kait Sheridan and Rabbi Dan, our friends at the 92nd Street Y – thank you for joining me and my team at the Religious Action Center for the meeting we hosted to inform and involve the interfaith community and for the participation in the webinar that allowed us to expand our reach. Over 60 organizations and congregations participated in our in-person and online efforts, and countless others visited our resource center to listen to the webinar recording and download our tool-kit.
  • Pumping up the level of excitement among the RAC staff, our own conference planner Daniel Landesberg directed and produced this entertaining staff video about #GivingTuesday. Thanks Daniel! And thank you RAC staff! Go team!
  • To our friends at eJewish Philanthropy, thank you for publishing my article titled “#GivingTuesday: Advancing a Global Movement for Giving Back.” You provided another platform to share our message about #GivingTuesday.
  • Thank you to our interfaith partners Rabbi Dan, Lutheran Services of America, Triyana Dharmachakra, Buddhist Global Relief, Texas Muslim Women's Foundation, the UN Foundation and Joshua DuBois who kicked off #GivingTuesday with an interfaith Twitter chat.
  • Last but not least, the communications team at the RAC was indispensable throughout this effort.  Thank you Sean Thibault, Sam Sanders, Max Rosenblum, Lisa Paquette and Sarah Greenberg for your teamwork – brainstorming ideas, providing advice, and sharing your technical expertise in the flurry of emails, blogs and social media postings.
The numbers are still being tabulated, but The Chronicle for Philanthropy reported, "Online donations processed by Blackbaud on Giving Tuesday rose 90 percent, to $19.2-million from some $10-million during last year’s event. The average gift online yesterday was $142, up from $102 on Giving Tuesday 2012, Blackbaud says.” Jewish scripture is overflowing with texts reminding us to provide for the poor and to protect those in need. And as Deuteronomy teaches: “give to the needy readily and have no regrets when you do so.” Giving and encouraging others to give is a part of the very fabric of our tradition. Together, on this #GivingTuesday we shared the mission to pursue justice – to repair the world – and fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedakah. For this, and for so much more – thank you!

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