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Your Guide to Giving Locally on Giving Tuesday (and Beyond!)

A decade after its creation, Giving Tuesday has undoubtedly achieved the same global recognition as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the holidays it was set to counter. And while it long ago became the year’s biggest day of giving, the flurry of emails and fundraising appeals it yields can leave many donors feeling overwhelmed. 

With that in mind, Brooklyn Community Foundation created the #BrooklynGives on Giving Tuesday giving platform at BrooklynGives.org to give Brooklynites one place to search, discover, and support hundreds of local organizations that need their help.

As Giving Tuesday 2022 approaches (November 29th), our donor services team put together the below guide with five simple steps to help you reduce the noise and increase your impact right here in your own backyard.

1.) Commit to Local Giving

Brooklyn is a hub for innovation, movement building, and nonprofit excellence that cannot be overstated. Yet, in spite of being the largest borough in New York with a population that would make us the third largest city in the United States, only 7% of New York City foundation grants go to Brooklyn nonprofits. 

Moreover, 2.5 years into the COVID-19 crisis, community-based nonprofits are being stretched: rising inflation is outpacing donations, and loss of government funding is hitting at the same time as demand for services increases.

Simply put, local nonprofits desperately need your support and they need you to give where you live! Your donation goes so much further when you invest in grassroots organizations right here in Brooklyn.

2.) Make a Plan

Our top advice for giving with intention is to create a plan. Write out your goals for giving and what impact are you trying to achieve. Do you want to tackle a few issues close to your heart or go deep with one organization? 

Next, estimate how much you can give annually – either a target lump sum or a percentage of your income. Or set a goal for how much you want to give in partnership with your friends, and family. Hosting a fundraiser, running the NYC marathon for charity, or creating a #BrooklynGives crowdfunding page are just a few ways to multiply your generosity with the help of your networks. 

Then think about how often you want to give – monthly or once a year? Be sure to leave room for flexibility and consider your social networks. How often are your friends asking you to support their causes and fundraisers? 

3.) Focus on Equity and Trust

At Brooklyn Community Foundation, we are committed to doing philanthropy differently. Our commitment to racial justice means that we listen to communities and share decision-making power with residents. We prioritize support for community-led, grassroots nonprofits serving communities of color. We aim to invest in organizations and leaders that have been historically marginalized by philanthropy, with a focus on BIPOC-led nonprofits with smaller operating budgets. 

We practice trust-based giving. We opt for multi-year, general operating support grants over project support, so that nonprofits have the flexibility to use our funds where they’re most needed and can rely on our support for the long-term.

So how does this translate for donors like you? 

  • Stay informed on local issues and follow the lead of directly impacted communities
  • Focus on nonprofits whose leaders are from the communities they serve
  • Look at an organization's annual budget: the smaller the budget, the bigger the impact you can have
  • Commit to giving to an organization for the long-term
  • Trust and champion organizations you support!

4.) Deepen Your Impact

No matter your annual giving capacity, everyone can make a difference. And there are lots of ways to multiply your generosity. Here are just a few:

  • Become a Monthly Donor
  • Secure a Matching Gift From Your Employer
  • Host a Peer-To-Peer Fundraiser
  • Open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)

Donor Advised Funds are the fastest growing charitable investment tool. They provide an immediate tax deduction with a lump sum contribution, and then you can recommend grants from your fund to any U.S.-based nonprofit, at your own pace. DAFs also offer the potential to grow your invested funds tax-free. 

And unlike commercial DAF providers, Brooklyn Community Foundation’s DAF administrative fees directly support grantmaking for racial justice in Brooklyn – helping you maximize your giving to the causes you care about while giving back to the place you call home. And you can manage your fund easily and efficiently through our online account portal. Learn more

5.) Take Advantage of These Tools – Including #BrooklynGives!

Today, we all have access to thousands of nonprofits thanks to the power of the internet, but it can be a challenge to tell fact from fiction and whether or not an organization is what they say they are. 

Guidestar is a terrific tool for donors to research nonprofits. And at Brooklyn Community Foundation, we also produce a monthly newsletter that features local nonprofits stories, community events, and recommended reading to deepen your knowledge of local organizations. We also provide our donors annual racial justice trainings to build deeper connections between your giving and social change. 

And finally our #BrooklynGives campaign makes local giving easy. Since 2016, we’ve raised over $5 million for Brooklyn nonprofits from thousands of donors at BrooklynGives.org. This year, you can discover over 200 approved local organizations – each has a profile that tells their story and what your donation makes possible. Here's a preview of just a few of the organizations participating this year:

BrooklynGives.org offers a lot of unique features to encourage you to spread love the Brooklyn way. The #BrooklynGives Shopping Cart allows you to add your donations while you search through the site, then check out all at once with one easy payment​. We also offer #BrooklynGives gift cards, which are a great holiday gift that recipients can use to support participating organizations up to the amount of the card’s donation. 

Plus, we are providing the 20 finalists for our 2023 Spark Prize with a $5,000 dollar-for-dollar match, meaning any donation you make to them between now through Giving Tuesday will be doubled up until they max out the match! And to add extra incentive, Brooklyn Community Foundation and local businesses are sponsoring ten $500 #BrooklynGives prizes awarded to participating nonprofits on Giving Tuesday.

Now all that’s left to do is get ready to give – and keep giving on Giving Tuesday and beyond!

Get Started: 

  • Spread the word about #BrooklynGives on social media
  • Hype up the group chat
  • Start a fundraising page for your favorite nonprofit at BrooklynGives.org

Jenny Walski

Vice President of Donor Engagement (She/Her/Hers)
Simply put, local nonprofits desperately need your support and they need you to give where you live! Your donation goes so much further when you invest in grassroots organizations right here in Brooklyn.