Written by Megan Huffman, Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation Director of Community Outreach & SHARE Greater Lynchburg and Alyssa Wilson, University of Lynchburg Bonner Intern
In the spring of 2023, we began to brainstorm ideas of what we imagined Giving Tuesday would look like in November. We had many ideas and dreams for November 28, both drawing on past years and wanting to push for more impact and more inclusion in 2023.
Megan Huffman had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to attend a Giving Tuesday conference in September at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This experience was rich with inspiration and shared resources from representatives in similar roles across the country.
Huffman said, "In many ways it is daunting to galvanize an entire community around a shared day of impact. Through the Giving Tuesday conference with representatives from much larger cities, I realized the Greater Lynchburg region already has an advantage of deep relationships, interconnectivity and strong sense of community. I knew we could leverage that for an impactful GIVE GOOD campaign."
Giving Tuesday was launched in 2012 as a simple idea: to create a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eleven years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
"Giving Tuesday inspires people all around the world to embrace their power to drive progress around the causes they care about, not just on one day but throughout the year," said Asha Curran, Giving Tuesday's CEO, and co-founder. "With country and community leaders, millions of organizations, and countless givers of all kinds, Giving Tuesday is creating a shared space where we can see the radical implications of a more generous world."
Locally, SHARE Greater Lynchburg and the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation led a campaign leading up to this day of giving called Give Good #LYHGives. The faces of this campaign were coined “Give Good Ambassadors”. Ambassadors were nominated by people in the community who believe that they embody the core values of the campaign and work to give good in Lynchburg.
500 nominees were given purple beanies with the words “Give Good #LYHGives” embroidered on them in order to spread awareness about serving the community leading to #GivingTuesday on November 28.
Thanks to the media sponsors, we were able to publicize the campaign through radio, television, print, billboards, yard signs, and on social media to invite ambassadors to share why they GIVE GOOD.
Nonprofit partners set goals for Giving Tuesday for what they would like to accomplish through the help of volunteers and donors. For example, Free Clinic of Central Virginia and Community Access Network were seeking hygiene items from their wish lists for the neighbors they serve. Park View Community Mission launched their Teal Bag campaign for neighbors to fill with food and return. Miller Home of Lynchburg sought dinner sponsors for their residents for 2024 and Impact Living Services needed Christmas wish list sponsors for teens in their program. Meals on Wheels of Greater Lynchburg also set a goal to recruit five new delivery drivers by Giving Tuesday, which was achieved!
Leading up to the big day of giving, SHARE partnered with nonprofit organizations to host Give Good Days of Service every Tuesday in November. Ambassadors and nonprofit partners arrived in their beanies and participated in service at places like The Pierce Street Gateway, the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation, the Lynchburg Humane Society and Lynchburg Daily Bread. To see photos, click here.
"Seeing the community and various nonprofit partners come together for the greater good was truly inspiring. I am privileged to have had the opportunity to be a part of this campaign and do my part to get the community excited about giving good," said Wilson.
We teamed up with The Mike Show/Radio434.com to host live remotes at different locations in the city: Boonsboro Shopping Center, Lynchburg Community Market and United Way of Central Virginia. Ambassadors and nonprofit partners were interviewed on the show and shared the stories of why they choose to give good to the community.
The morning of Giving Tuesday kicked off with a pancake breakfast at Purple Door Gourmet Kitchen & Catering where 40 ambassadors and partners joined us to eat pancakes, fellowship with one another, and fuel up for a big day of giving good.
It was amazing to see the changemakers of Lynchburg come together throughout the month, but especially on November 28. Many organizations participated in posting on social media with #LYHGives and highlighting their donors, ambassadors and spreading their missions. To see a collection of these stories and photos, click here.
To share your nonprofit organization's Giving Tuesday impact, please complete this survey.