GAgives reaches out to S.Ga nonprofits

Nov. 23—VALDOSTA — Georgia Center for Nonprofits hosts the 11th year of GAgives on GivingTuesday to provide nonprofits a platform for donations.

"GCN is honored to lead the state's biggest giving movement and proud to serve as the official state lead for GivingTuesday, a generosity campaign reaching all 50 states and more than 150 countries," Luiza Raposo, senior director, marketing and communications for GCN, said. "Despite COVID being 'behind us,' it's more essential than ever to elevate Georgia's nonprofits as they all are dealing with increased demand, rising costs and shortages of resources and people. We want to create the tradition of philanthropy and have Georgians give back to the nonprofits that give us all so much."

GivingTuesday is held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, this year on Nov. 29. GivingTuesday is an international day of giving to follow the traditional shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

GAgives kicked off with a 30 Days of #GAgenerosity campaign, providing a new prompt each day to inspire Georgians to share their "thanks" through social media while helping build momentum for GAgives, Raposo said.

South Georgia nonprofits such as Girls on the Run and WWALS Watershed Coalition are a part of more than 700 nonprofits across the state participating in GivingTuesday, many organizations returning and others for the first time.

Claire Walton, local Girls on the Run founding director and grant strategic planning advisor, said, "Any platform or exposure is so important to us and we are continuously sharing our mission to make the world better through girls, coaches, families and whoever it may be to support little girls so they can be our next leaders."

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization designed to enhance participants' social, emotional and physical skills to successfully navigate life experiences.

Walton said it is the first year the organization has participated in GAgives but the donations through the website yearly and monthly giving, along with those collected through registration, and community sponsors supports 65% of girls on scholarships along with all supplies for coaches throughout the year.

"The goal is not about the money but it is about reaching all the girls and getting into the communities where there are no government-funded after-school programs for any children," she said. "We appreciate all of our donors who give through our website and people who know what we are doing and support our mission."

Girls on the Run South Georgia is approved to serve all 35 counties in South Georgia and with GAgives the organization hopes to spread the news and awareness to engage to increase visibility in those counties, Walton said.

Meanwhile, this is the fourth year that WWALS will be participating in GivingTuesday.

WWALS Watershed Coalition is an educational nonprofit charity that advocates for conservation and stewardship of the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little, Santa Fe and Suwannee River watersheds in South Georgia and north Florida through education, awareness, environmental monitoring and resident activities.

Gretchen Quarterman, executive director WWALS, said, "We enjoy participating in GAgives and working to GCN as they support our yearly fundraising campaign for GivingTuesday and we are also able to host specific fundraisers for other projects.

"We have a lot to be thankful for in our area with these rivers and growing community of people to realize their value so we are hoping that the community to share their resources to help support us," she said. "We are grateful for everyone who supports us because $10 a month or more to a nonprofit truly goes a long way."

This year, companies are sharing in the #GAgenerosity campaign by giving nonprofits the chance to win additional donations through "Power Hours," "Golden Tickets" and leaderboard contests, according to GCN.

Walton said Girls is asking donors to give a unique donation of $8 at 8 a.m., Nov. 29. The amount is a celebration of eights years of Girls on the Run South Georgia.

The 2021 GAgives on GivingTuesday campaign, while many Georgians faced the aftermath of the pandemic, helped raise a total of $27,147,800 for Georgia nonprofits through more than 180,000 donations.

According to GCN, since its founding in 2012, the GAgives movement has rallied more than 556,000 individual contributions and raised more than $90 million for the nonprofits working to create positive and lasting change throughout Georgia.

Raposo said, "We encourage nonprofits to join in on GivingTuesday and anytime to have fun and grow their network to increase the visibility of their mission. For donors, no donation is too small and we encourage you to give as non profits are apart of all of our lives."