I’m typing this while sitting on a Leopold bench, just a few feet away from a life-sized metal bison. Fall colors and cool air surround me as I pause, trying to get the words in my head and the fingers on my keyboard to cohesively construct what will be the latest entry in the Building a Land Ethic Blog. The topic this week – well, it’s a bit different than what we usually cover – it’s about what “fundraising professionals” (full disclosure: I, myself am one) refer to as #GivingTuesday.
For us folks in the non-profit world, #GivingTuesday is the opportunity to encourage everyone to begin the holiday season by giving to their favorite charity or non-profit organization. On Tuesday, December 1, charities, businesses, students, community centers and families from all around the world will come together for one common purpose: to embrace generosity and to give back.
#GivingTuesday is a fairly new idea, only in its fourth year of existence. The day always takes place on the first Tuesday in December. This day is so special because it’s the antithesis of the flurry of consumer spending action that comes after Thanksgiving: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It is unique in that it creates a global day not of commerce, but of giving back and kindness.
We can all show our support and give back this holiday season by participating in #GivingTuesday. There are two simple ways to support your favorite charity on this international day of giving – you can help spread the word on social media (use the hashtag #GivingTuesday or post an #unselfie with information on your favorite cause), or you can make a financial contribution to the charity of your choice.
Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a fundraising professional if I didn’t encourage you to support a certain organization that is working day in and day out to weave a land ethic into the fabric of our society. Over thirty years ago, Aldo Leopold’s children had a vision of an organization that not only reflected the legacy of their late father, but was actively furthering his efforts to impact the way we all think about the natural world. Since then the Leopold Foundation has served as a “thinking community,” bringing people together to better understand the science of land health and expand our definition of community to include soils, water, plants, and animals.
In Wisconsin and around the world, the need has never been greater to address the way individuals and communities treat each other and the land that sustains them. Your contribution will provide the tools to grow our partnerships with land owners, other agencies and groups, conservation leaders, and policy makers – ensuring a balance between the needs of healthy land and communities.
Please visit the donate page on our website and consider a gift to the Leopold Foundation next week on #GivingTuesday. This year, our friends at Starion Financial will match the first $5,000 of contributions that we receive on December 1st! We can’t thank them enough for their support and hope that you’ll join in on the #GivingTuesday fun! Be sure to jump on social media and tell everyone about how you’re giving back and making #GivingTuesday amazing.