November 27th is #GivingTuesday, the most recent opportunity in a growing list of consumer possibilities foisted upon us right after Thanksgiving.
But Giving Tuesday is my new favorite for a few reasons: As I age, I need fewer things and therefore enjoy encouraging others to instead spend money on causes and experiences. Every year it gets easier to support the efforts that mean the most to me, thanks to the internet. Tacoma is a town involved in lots and lots of good work.
I’m happy to share some donation opportunities for you to consider this Giving Tuesday. Full disclosure: due to my more than eight years of involvement with local nonprofits, I may be partial to certain organizations, but I’m impressed and proud of the spectrum of options available to Tacomans.
Don’t have thousands of spare dollars? Let me tell you the most important thing about philanthropy: donations are investments and size doesn’t matter. When you give, you are committing to your community, joining with others who care, and showing your trust in the work of the organization. Giving locally is so much more than charity: it is building opportunity, collaboration, and sustainability together, and it’s really easy.
(Pro tip: I do recommend that if you are interested in recognition for your donation, start with a gift over $10. If you want to give less than that, I recommend giving it anonymously in cash so the work on the processing side can be minimized and made cost effective. Drop cash in a donation bucket and call it good!)
I’ve been lucky to give to and work for many local nonprofits, all of which deserve charitable donations. I’ll fill you in on some of my more nepotistic recommendations but first, these effective local organizations are deserving of your dollars:
(descriptions from the respective organizations’ websites)
The YWCA provides comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence and their children including emergency shelter, legal support and representation, support groups, therapy, children’s program, a 24/7 crisis line and transitional housing.
Emergency Food Network provides more than 13 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food annually at no cost to over 65 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters for distribution to low-income families and individuals.
Hilltop Artists provides youth with hot glass instruction, arts training, and adult mentors focusing on increasing students’ academic and interpersonal success. Hilltop Artists offers a unique model for using art as a means for violence prevention and intervention with youth with outstanding results.
Tacoma Art Museum serves the diverse communities of the Northwest through its collection, exhibitions, and learning programs, emphasizing art and artists from the Northwest. Our vision is to be a national model for regional museums by creating a dynamic museum that engages, inspires, and builds community through art.
For over 20 years, Forterra has successfully led efforts to conserve more than 180,000 Washington State acres of forests, farms, shorelines, parks and natural areas and restore critical landscapes.
Coffee Strong is a coffee shop that provides the military community with GI rights and Veterans Disability Benefits counseling, radical literature, links to resources for a variety of needs, and free coffee for enlisted personnel. The shop serves as a safe place for active-duty personnel, military families and veterans to organize and discuss issues like: war, deployment, PTSD, Military Sexual Trauma, and the hardships of life in the military.
The Rainbow Center‘s mission is to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by providing education, resources, information and opportunities for empowerment to individuals and organization with the south Puget Sound area.
L’Arche works closely with people with intellectual disabilities so that each person can play their full role in society. L’Arche Tahoma Hope operated four homes, workshops and day activities, and a farm and garden program. L’Arche communities offer inclusive and collaborative opportunities for members with and without disabilities to discover, develop, and share their talents.
Based in Seattle, The Mockingbird Society has a growing impact and presence serving foster children in Tacoma: the Society is dedicated to building a world‐class foster care system that ensures the care, support, and resources necessary for children, youth, and families to thrive. The Mockingbird Society “advocates for systems reform based on the personal experiences of children, youth, and families impacted by the foster care system.
The Children’s Museum of Tacoma’s mission is to celebrate the power of play in the lifelong journey of learning. Our vision is to be a leader in our community in using play to learn, to grow, and to thrive.
My Even-More-Biased Giving Tuesday Recommendations
Handily, five nonprofit foundations support the work of the park district so you can make entirely tax-deductible gifts to support the Fort Nisqually Foundation, The Zoo Society, the Northwest Trek Foundation, the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory Foundation, and the Greater Metro Parks Foundation. Check them out, consider donating, and email me if you have questions.
A donation to Spaceworks keeps the operation of transforming vacant spaces into creative businesses alive, expanding, and thriving.
A donation to Campus MLK will help us reach the conclusion of our 2012 effort to create a Hilltop neighborhood cultural directory for youth.
Campus MLK is a partnership with five organizations, all of which make significant contributions to opportunity and access for kids in Tacoma. You can give to Write@253, The DASH Center for the Arts, and Fab-5.
Still not sure where you’d like to donate your hard-earned dollars? We have an amazing local resource in the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation. Not only do they share information about all sorts of local nonprofits through their online directory, but their staff is happy to help with any questions you may have about becoming a philanthropist.
There, 23 giving options for you to consider!
Join a movement on Tuesday, or any day or time as the year draws to an end. Invest in what matters to you in Tacoma.