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92nd Street Y Creates Holiday Dedicated to Giving Back (Instead of Shopping)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012   (0 Comments)

ISPA Member organization, 92nd Street Y is shaking up American traditions this year by launching a new holiday which celebrates the idea of giving back.  Read the original article published in Crains New York Business by Theresa Agovino, or below. 

Giving Tuesday Website Screen ShotBlack Friday and Cyber Monday have become rituals of the holiday shopping season. This year, however, marks the advent of Giving Tuesday, a campaign organized by the 92nd Street Y to encourage people to do more with their money than just shop.

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, roughly 1,500 charities, foundations and for-profit companies including the Red Cross and Microsoft will promote the idea of donating money and time to worthy causes. The Y hopes the idea will catch on and become part of the holiday tradition.

"We want to create a movement," said Sol Adler, executive director of the 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit community and cultural center.

Mr. Adler said the Y came up with the idea while helping its partners form individual campaigns to celebrate the idea of charity. The group then created a logo to brand the event. The participating organizations are promoting the event individually, but all will carry the logo and message of Giving Tuesday.

"We thought it was a really different idea," said Ashley Bunce, public awareness and education director at the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which supports injured veterans and their families.

On Tuesday, the foundation will send an email blast to about 7,000 supporters soliciting donations. It will also promote the idea of Giving Tuesday on its website and Facebook pages.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) will carry out a similar campaign on Tuesday.

"The focus of the holiday shouldn't just be on shopping," said Matt Colvin, strategic partnership associate for IAVA, which provides a variety of services to help vets assimilate when they return home. "We want people to understand what the holiday season is really about.", which encourages young people to get involved in their communities, came up with a unique marketing scheme for the event. The nonprofit devised a short questionnaire to test how well older people know teens' technology habits. The group will ask the approximately 500,000 young people on its mailing list to provide email addresses for their parents or older friends who will be sent the test. For every wrong answer, the elders will be asked to donate $10 to the organization.

"It's really a fun way for teens to help us and it gets their parents involved too," said Liz Eddy, special project associate at

Ms. Eddy and the others nonprofit officials couldn't offer an estimate of how much money the event would raise because it is so new. "It will be a help," Ms. Eddy said.

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