Who donated money on #GivingTuesday? Millennials

  • People affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando visited with a golden retriever from Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 Comfort Dogs. It's one of many charities millennials donated to on Giving Tuesday.

    People affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando visited with a golden retriever from Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 Comfort Dogs. It's one of many charities millennials donated to on Giving Tuesday. Courtesy of Lutheran Church Charities' K-9 Comfort Dogs

 
 
Posted11/30/2016 5:15 AM

On Giving Tuesday, people gave ... a little.

At least that was true for suburban charities, where officials said the day is more about raising awareness than raking in big-buck donations.

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Still, Giving Tuesday -- the day targeted for charitable giving that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- raises much-needed money. And more importantly, because the fundraising is done almost entirely online with the hashtag #GivingTuesday, it attracts the attention of the hard-to-reach millennials, many of whom could be donating for the first time.

#GivingTuesday social media campaigns appeal to millennials in a way regular mail campaigns don't, local charities say, and helps them feel comfortable making small donations of $5 to $25.

"People who normally never give are giving," said Laura Brown, vice president and chief advancement officer of the Harper College Foundation, which had a record-setting Giving Tuesday this year.

"You're diversifying your outreach on Giving Tuesday. It's just another avenue to really strengthen your mission in what you're doing."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The foundation, which raises $4 million annually, set a Giving Tuesday fundraising goal of just $4,172. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had raised more than six times that, with many donations coming from millennials who were first-time donors, Brown said.

That also was the case with Northbrook-based Lutheran Church Charities. While the total amount donated was small compared to the overall fundraising budget, donations were up over last year. And many were small amounts donated by young people who appreciate the work they do with the K-9 Comfort Dogs Ministry and disaster relief services, said Executive Director Tim Hetzner.

Those $10 donations add up and help. The few hundred dollars donated on Giving Tuesday to Live4Lali, an Arlington Heights-based nonprofit, will help fund substance abuse awareness and prevention efforts.

"For $200, we're able to save a lot of lives," said Live4Lali Executive Director Chelsea Laliberte.

Just about every charity, both local and national, has jumped on the Giving Tuesday bandwagon. Groups ranging from animal shelters to youth sports solicit donations, and celebrities promote their favorite charities. Even superstars Bruce Springsteen to Barbra Streisand tweeted out #GivingTuesday pleas Tuesday.

"The spirit of the holiday season comes down to giving," Laliberte said.

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