By BROCK WILSON
On Tuesday, Carleton University will mark the end of it’s first ever philanthropy month by celebrating “#GivingTuesday,” a new unofficial holiday devoted to charity.
#GivingTuesday is an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday that allows people to make donations to various charities and organizations.
Carleton University has promised to celebrate the day by matching up to $15,000 worth of donations to initiatives on their Future Funder website.
Future Funder is a Kickstarter-like website that raises money for Carleton-specific causes. Four projects have already been funded through the Future Funder website, including the Shelia Bird scholarship in Journalism.
“We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and those are two days we have to give to ourselves and treat ourselves to all sorts of stuff… after you have given to yourself for two days it is really important to think about giving back,” says Pia Chin, a communications officer at Carleton.
The GivingTuesday movement began last year in the United States and had over 2500 partners. According to the organization’s website, popular online fundraising systems Blackbaud and DonorPerfect saw an increase of about 50 per cent in their donation totals on the first GivingTuesday compared to the same day a year prior.
Organizers of GivingTuesday approached Carleton University earlier this year and asked them if they wanted to get involved as part of their expansion into Canada, says Chin.
“We’re here to facilitate philanthropic gifts, and Carleton, since its inception, has benefited from the generosity of the people in its community, and we want to honour that.”
Although donors can give to anything within Carleton they would like, the main focus of Carleton’s GivingTuesday is their new website Future Funder, says Chin.
People are encouraged to get involved online and inform others about Giving Tuesday. Last year over 50 million people tweeted about #GivingTuesday, the organization says.
Throughout November, Carleton hosted multiple workshops and guest speakers, including Ontario’s Ombudsman, Andre Marin. All events were geared towards coaching students on how to expand their own fundraising initiatives.
After GivingTuesday, Carleton will officially close off Philanthropy Month with the H.M. Tory Society Holiday Social. This event is meant to celebrate the generosity of Carleton Donors and the accomplishments of students and faculty.