ALPENA – On the heels of the upcoming popular shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, comes Giving Tuesday. Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan (CFNEM) and its affiliate foundations, which includes the Iosco County Community Foundation (ICCF), are helping to raise awareness and support for many local nonprofits. 

Six nonprofits, as well as ICCF’s Community Improvement Grant program are participating in this year’s event.

 “In what has been a tough year for so many, we are really looking forward to Giving Tuesday this year with its camaraderie, light-heartedness, and incredible support our communities show for our local nonprofits,” said CFNEM Executive Director Patrick Heraghty. “Last year over $217,000 was raised in 24 hours. While there is no way to know what kind of donation numbers we’ll see this year, we hope our community will show up online on December 1st to make this year another successful year for the nonprofits in our area. We all need it.”

Although this will be CFNEM’s sixth year leading the event in northeast Michigan, Giving Tuesday as a global day of giving is now in its ninth year. Meant to harness the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to celebrate generosity worldwide, the 24-hour giving event is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) to kick-off the holiday giving season. The hope is that people will set aside a few minutes from holiday shopping to give back to their community through the charities and causes they support.

Iosco County organizations participating in the event include:

• Friends of Tawas Point Lighthouse and State Park

• Harbor Lights Pregnancy and Information Center

• Iosco County Community Foundation Community Improvement Program

• Iosco Exploration Trail

• Pegasus Springs Therapeutic Riding Center

• Pine River Van Etten Lake Watershed Coalition

• Sunrise Side Lifelong Learning

 To help local nonprofits take part in Giving Tuesday, CFNEM will provide the technical infrastructure through its website and social media to showcase and manage donations for 50 nonprofits that meet IRS tax requirements to operate as a nonprofit, all at no cost to the participating organizations. 100% of every donation will go to the nonprofit of the donors’ choice. Donors can visit on Giving Tuesday to make donations to any or all of these nonprofits.

Heraghty also noted that in addition to the participating organizations, donors may also make donations to any fund held by the Iosco County Community Foundation as a Giving Tuesday gift.

“While we have many organizations participating in the campaign, ICCF also holds over 35 different charitable funds that support many different causes and organizations,” said Heraghty. “Donations to those funds will be counted on December 1 as Giving Tuesday gifts.”

Three years ago, Grant the Giving Tuesday Golden Goose was introduced as a fun way to bolster some friendly competition between nonprofits. Grant is awarded to the nonprofit raising the most money on Giving Tuesday, and went last year to Alpena County Animal Facility. After spending nearly a year with ACAF volunteers, Grant has migrated back to the Community Foundation to await word on his 2020-21 residency.

 Giving Tuesday Northeast Michigan begins at midnight on Dec. 1. The public will be able to make donations for a full 24 hours, and monitor the total amount donated online throughout the day. The total amount donated to each organization will be announced at an online live event after Giving Tuesday with participating nonprofits at the Community Foundation headquarters.

“This is a great opportunity for nonprofits to mobilize their supporters and rally them around their organization,” said CFNEM Marketing Communications Director Christine Hitch. “The more enthusiastically they promote their nonprofit for Giving Tuesday and utilize the tools we give them, particularly through social media, the more donations they are likely to receive.”

 Hitch notes that while Giving Tuesday Northeast Michigan is primarily an online giving event, donors are welcome to drop off checks at the CFNEM offices at 100 N. Ripley, Suite F, in Alpena. Checks must be dropped off on Dec. 1 in order to be counted as a Giving Tuesday donation.

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