Gates Foundation bolsters GivingTuesday with $10 million donation
NEW YORK (AP) — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $10 million to the organization that grew out of the hashtag #GivingTuesday in part to fund a database of charitable donations and other acts of generosity.
GivingTuesday, the organization, has helped people realize they can give a lot, the foundation’s co-founder, Melinda French Gates, said in an interview.
“Whether people are giving their voice, their time, their expertise or their money, and given that it was the tenth anniversary of GivingTuesday, it seemed like a good time to step up another engagement,” French Gates said.
Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday, described the foundation as a thought partner in addition to being a funder.
“It’s a really wonderful thing to see the partnership between big philanthropy and grassroots generosity, that these things don’t have to live in separate worlds and be seen as totally separate things,” Curran said. .
The new donation announced Tuesday also represents the Gates Foundation’s ongoing efforts to encourage people to give. The Giving Pledge, which the Gates founded with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, asks billionaires to donate more than half of their wealth to charitable causes over their lifetime, while GivingTuesday seeks to mobilize everyone the world.
“We believe philanthropy is the right thing to do and anyone can do it,” French Gates said in an interview. “And so it’s more of making it a societal norm, quite frankly, than you’re giving something back.”
GivingTuesday started in 2012 as a 92nd Street Y project and became an independent nonprofit in 2020. It now brings together a network of people who run campaigns for communities around the world, tailored to relevant holidays and giving traditions.
Most people still associate the organization with the now-familiar flood of emails and other solicitations for charitable donations that pour in on Tuesdays after Thanksgiving in the United States, which Curran said he doesn’t mind.
“I just wish they would also associate it with local leadership and young people leading the way in philanthropy,” she said.
Last year, the organization said donors gave more than $2.7 billion on Giving Tuesday, despite many fundraisers and organizations saying they were exhausted trying to design breakthrough campaigns. .
The Gates Foundation has already given the organization $10.5 million since its inception. GivingTuesday also received $7 million from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in 2021.
Curran said the donation will accelerate the organization’s plans to expand a database that includes donation information from a variety of sources, including payment processor PayPal, Charity Navigator, crowdfunding sites GoFundMe, DonorsChoose and Tiltify as well as major institutions that offer donor-advised funds. like Fidelity Charitable and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
GivingTuesday said they aim to raise $26 million over five years to fund the data project and have already committed 40% of that amount.
Software company Blackbaud, which works with nonprofits, universities and foundations, said it does not share its raw donation data with third parties. although they do provide GivingTuesday with the total amount of donations they process on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Other organizations also track philanthropic giving – including Candid, which collects data on donations from philanthropic foundations, governments and nonprofits, as well as large academic studies like Indiana University Lilly’s. Family School of Philanthropy which studied the giving behavior of the same American households. for decades. The Giving USA Foundation also publishes an annual analysis of giving trends, which includes many data sets but does not consider person-to-person giving or mutual aid.
GivingTuesday aims to collect data on individual giving, which Jake Garcia, vice president of data at Candid, says could complement these other projects and help answer questions about giving trends.
“The stock market is down, are donations up or down?” Garcia said. “The number of donations, the amount of donations, the type of donations they make. . . These trends, I think, are the kind of things that could be really telling if they can get a good enough data set.
The Associated Press’s coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits is supported by the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.