Holiday shopping is in full swing with Black Friday and Cyber Monday already behind us. What the season is really about, of course, is giving, which is why after those consumer-centric days comes Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday (or #GivingTuesday) is a global movement that serves as a kick-off to the holiday charity season. It was founded in 2012 by the United Nations Foundation and the 92nd Street Y as a direct response to the commercialization of the “post-Thanksgiving” season, according to its website.
Last year, more than 700,000 people raised about $116 million for charities and nonprofits worldwide. Though many organizations need help all year around, Giving Tuesday is a way to make your money go even further thanks to special partnerships and donors willing to double gifts.
Here are five places in Boston that will match donations, helping you help more people, this Giving Tuesday:
Massachusetts General Hospital was named the top hospital in the nation for U.S. News and World Report’s Best Hospitals 2015-2016. It’s also the oldest and largest hospital in New England and conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the country, so you can be assured your donation will be put to good use.
Gifts to Mass General have helped innovations like the Lunder Building and the Ragon Institute of MGH come to fruition. Since the Lunder Building opened in 2011, doctors have performed tens of thousands of procedures in its high-tech operating rooms, according to MGH. At the Ragon Institute, scientists are working on the front lines in the battle against HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
This Giving Tuesday, any gift to the MGH Fund will be doubled thanks to an anonymous donor, according to a MGH spokesperson. If you don’t get around to donating tomorrow, you do have more time: This chance to get your money matched lasts through the end of the calendar year and is only for the MGH Fund specifically, not other areas of the hospital. MGH’s goal for Giving Tuesday is $10,000.
Boys and Girls Club of Boston
Boys and Girls Club is a national organization that provides education, leadership, life skills, arts and athletic programs to kids across the country at times when many of them would be left without adult supervision at home. The Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) serve more than 16,000 kids alone with its 11 clubs.
BCGB invests an average of $2,900 per member to provide after-school and summer programs, so it relies heavily on community support through donations. This year, Planet Fitness partnered with the Boys and Girls Club to launch its Judgement Free Generation initiative as a way to combat bullying and through that partnership, will match every gift to the Boys and Girls Club given until Dec. 31.
Greater Boston Food Bank
One in 10 people in Eastern Massachusetts are at risk of hunger, and the GBFB is crucial to proving relief by feeding more than 90,000 people each week through its network of partners. GBFB needs a lot of help to pull that off all year around, whether through donations or its volunteer network, which includes more than 26,000 people.
Every $1 donated to the GBFB provides three meals, and 91 cents of that donor goes directly to hunger-relief efforts, according to the organization. This Giving Tuesday, that dollar is stretched even further thanks to a partnership with Webster Bank.
Webster Bank is doubling every donation, meaning $1 will provide six meals. For a $50 donation, you can give 300 meals to those in need. GBFB hopes to raise enough for 260,000 meals by midnight on Giving Tuesday.
Animal Rescue League Boston
Since 1899, the ARL has focused on rescuing both domesticated animals and wildlife from suffering, cruelty, abandonment and neglect. It’s the only animal welfare organization in Massachusetts that has an emergency rescue services team dedicated to helping out all creatures.
In 2015, more than 13,300 animals received care through all ARL programs and its three shelters in Boston, Brewster and Dedham. This Giving Tuesday, ARL’s Board Chair Malcolm McDonald and an anonymous donor teamed up to offer a matching donation challenge.
Help be a part of a collective effort to raise $25,000 and your donation will be doubled. Plus, if you make a gift of $100 or more on Giving Tuesday, you and your pet will be featured on the ARL’s online Wall of Honor.
St. Francis House
St. Francis House is the largest day shelter in Boston, helping an average of 500 homeless people every day, all year round. Aside from offering a warm shelter during the winter and meals to the hungry— St. Francis serves up more than 220,000 meals annually—the shelter also provides medical care, clothes, counseling and a vocational rehabilitation program that helps prepare 140 poor and homeless adults to find and maintain employment each year.
St. Francis House has a challenge for the Boston community this Giving Tuesday: raise $10,000 in 24 hours, and that money will be matched by an anonymous couple in Hingham.
See here for how your donation will directly help those who visit St. Francis House, from providing warm clothes, a nutritious meal and even mental health counseling.