Today is Giving Tuesday.
If you naturally tilt toward old-person grumpiness as I do, it’s easy to slip into the warm lap blanket of cynicism about these last few days. The contrived series of post-Thanksgiving “events” is really designed to shape consumer behavior. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday… the only thing that could possibly make these more irritating to those of us in the prune juice club is that you’re supposed to squish them into one word preceded by a hashtag. So it’s not Giving Tuesday, but rather #givingtuesday.
Just as you’re supposed to dropkick your fellow shopper to claim discounted dry goods on Black Friday and buy a sentient kitchen appliance (#smarttoaster) on Cyber Monday, your assigned task on Giving Tuesday is to make a charitable donation or two.
A charitable donation, you say? Well, now. Suddenly I’m totally on board with #thisnonsense. Hashtags all around!
But seriously: There’s plenty of good to be found in all of these shopping/spending days, especially those that support local businesses, families, and charities. If you can accomplish it without throat-punching your fellow man, that’s all the better.
Decades before there was a #givingtuesday, nonprofits like CRA (and including CRA) sent out end-of-year funding solicitation letters. Hearts are generally more open toward generosity at this time of year, and there are often some last-minute gifts that need to be made to avoid tax consequences. Nonprofits of all stripes have benefited from year-end generosity, and we still greatly depend on it. In fact, 30% of all US charitable dollars are donated in the month of December. And CRA needs those dollars.
Among the many day-to-day challenges here is the never ending cycle of need. For example, it hasn’t been that long ago that we finished putting “smartboards” in every classroom. Around the time the last one was installed, our oldest one went on the fritz and needed to be replaced. We’re hoping to replace two of them this year, but there are around 20 more that will need to be upgraded soon. At a cost of $3,500 each, that’s a chunk of change.
It feels like we just installed computers in our student lab, but that was way back in 2017. By today’s standards, those are already nearing obsolescence. We need to start cycling in new machines to stay current.
In 2020 and 2021, we’ve been able to undertake major improvements here thanks to the support of generous donors. We constructed two new offices, completed major updates to the Emmett Smith Auditorium (with more on the way), added central air conditioning in our main gymnasium, and recently purchased a bus. Those projects were funded either through group fundraising efforts or from large gifts by companies and individuals.
This year, if you’re in a position to consider a major gift, I hope you’ll find CRA worthy of your investment. Please contact me to discuss specific areas of need.
If your portfolio isn’t ready to bankroll a major gift, there’s still something very important you can do for CRA on #givingtuesday. Would you consider setting up a smaller, recurring gift? It’s very simple to do on our online giving form. Just choose an amount you’d like to give each month, then under Type of Donation, select “Recurring Donation.” Each month, that same amount will be donated to CRA. (Don’t want to do this online? You can mail a check each month if you’d prefer. We’re not picky!)
These “grassroots” gifts create a solid foundation of support that helps us meet our monthly obligations and plan for cycles of replacements and upgrades. Better still, they communicate your commitment and support of what happens here every day.
This #givingtuesday, I hope you’ll take a look at helping CRA financially. Know that we are grateful for every gift regardless of the amount, and that we are most thankful for the partnership of friends, family, and alumni in “building leaders, building followers” each and every day.