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‘Give local’ on #YSGiving Tuesday

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Black Friday. Cyber Monday. The days immediately following Thanksgiving have become the widely accepted kickoff of the holiday-shopping season, with nicknames that reflect their consumer focus: “black” for a profitable ledger sheet; “cyber” for online shopping.

But another, less commercial, day has joined the ranks within the past few years: #GivingTuesday. The pound symbol, commonly known as a “hashtag” among the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram set, is intentional, as the charitable initiative is an online movement fueled by social media. The purpose is not to buy, but to contribute.

Created in 2012 by the New York City-based Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact, the continually growing global effort last year counted about 700,000 people donating approximately $116 million to more than 40,000 organizations in 71 countries, all within a 24-hour period. In 2016, the date is next Tuesday, Nov. 29.
And this year, nonprofit groups of Yellow Springs are joining in for the first time, under the collaborative umbrella of #YSGivingTuesday.

Spearheading the village-wide initiative are Dawn Boyer, the director of advancement for Yellow Springs schools; Ara Beal, the managing artistic director of YS Kids Playhouse; and Kathryn Hitchcock, representing the local chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, or NAMI. (Hitchcock is also an employee of the News.)

Beal first advocated for bringing #GivingTuesday to Yellow Springs. “It’s an effective way to reap the benefits of a larger social media movement that invites people everywhere to give to our organizations,” she said. Boyer added that there is precedent for a municipally focused effort — “Columbus did one last year, and Philadelphia has done it. We thought that it made sense to try it here.” Yellow Springs already had “Yellow Friday,” she said, when folks are encouraged to shop local on the day after Thanksgiving. A local day of giving seemed to be a worthwhile follow-up. “Shop local, give local,” she said.

While the global initiative was founded as an online, social media movement, financial donations do not have to be made online — but they must be received on Nov. 29 to count as part of the campaign. And many groups do not limit actions to financial gifts — some sponsor a variety of service activities on the day of giving as well, though no such local activities have been announced.

The #YSGivingTuesday organizers, who began meeting several months ago, each participate in the Yellow Springs Nonprofit Network monthly luncheon hosted by the Yellow Springs Community Foundation. The network offers a resource for collaboration and support, and the trio began there in seeking groups to be a part of the local GivingTuesday campaign.

The only prerequisites for inclusion are that the organization be tax-exempt and be able to accept online donations, Boyer said.

Sixteen local nonprofit groups, including several schools, are taking part:
• 365 Project
• Antioch College
• The Antioch School
• Antioch Writers’ Workshop
• Arthur Morgan Institute for Community Solutions
• Chamber Music of Yellow Springs
• Glen Helen Ecology Institute
• John Bryan Community Pottery
• Little Art Theatre Association
• NAMI Clark, Greene & Madison Counties
• Tecumseh Land Preservation ­Association
• Yellow Springs Arts Council
• Yellow Springs Home, Inc.
• Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse
• Yellow Springs Schools
• Yellow Springs Senior Citizens Inc.

A website ( with information and links to each of the groups will be live on Nov. 29. A “private individual” gave the funds to develop the website, and locally based Servlet Internet Services is hosting the site without charge, Boyer said.

Sweetening the pot for contributions is a matching grant of $10,000 from the Yellow Springs Community Foundation. Matching funds up to that amount will be distributed among the 16 participating organizations based on the amount each raises. “This is a wonderful opportunity to support collaboration among the Yellow Springs nonprofits,” Jeannamarie Cox, executive director of YSCF, said in a statement.
“That was amazing,” Boyer said of the promise of matching funds. “It will be helpful and incentivizing on that day. We are really thankful for the Yellow Springs Community Foundation.”

While the organizers laid the groundwork for the local campaign, including a detailed information packet for the participating groups, it’s up to the groups to “amplify the message,” to do their own promotion and get the word out to their individual memberships and constituencies. Because many Yellow Springs residents likely have affiliations with more than one of the participating groups, they can expect to hear about the #YSGivingTuesday campaign more than once. “There will be some overlap,” Boyer said. “That’s not a bad thing.”

According to the #GivingTuesday founders (online at, the initiative “harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. … As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.”

The #YSGivingTuesday campaign is an effort to bring that movement home.


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