If I asked you how much the nonprofit sector contributed to the US economy, what would you guess? $500 million? $1 billion? $50 billion? Well the real number is nearly $1 trillion, with the nonprofit sector contributing over $905 billion to the US economy in 2013. In addition to this, nonprofits employ over 10% (that’s 11.4 million people!) of the entire US workforce.
Nonprofits do this all while pursuing missions of environmental protection, education, and a myriad of other social causes that serve to benefit humans, animals, and the environment worldwide. This is something special and demonstrates year after year the ability of people to organize in groups of all sizes and makeups to create impact.
While this impact can be increased by corporate sponsorships or donations from private foundations, the data shows that over 70% of all giving comes from individuals. In other words, people like you, not large organizations, raise the most money to be used for social causes.
Giving Tuesday is entering its seventh year and falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the well-known shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2017, this day of giving raised more than $300 million online for organizations spread through over 150 countries.
Private giving from individuals like you is augmented this Giving Tuesday through matches from large corporations such as Facebook, who this year has pledged to match $7 million of donations that are made through their service.
In 2017, Giving Tuesday was the Phoenix Conservancy’s highest single day of fundraising in that, our first, year. The contributions made to our mission of restoring endangered ecosystems for the communities that depend on them allowed us to pursue programs across four US states and launch our first international program in Madagascar.
This year, our goal is to raise $3000. This will be used to bring students from middle school through college to project sites and give them the opportunity of hands-on learning, to directly restore endangered ecosystems globally through control of invasive species and native species reintroductions, and to research how conservation can generate wealth for local communities.
We believe that people and communities, not governments or large corporations, are the driving force for positive change in the world. Your involvement through donations, volunteering, and even simply sharing our message, are absolutely vital to our success. So this Giving Tuesday, I would ask you to join with us again and help us continue to change the world.