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Giving Tuesday promotes central New York's non-profits

Central New York Community Foundation
Giving Tuesday is taking hold in central New York.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus on spending for holiday gifts, a burgeoning movement is hoping to create that same kind of fervor when it comes to making charitable donations. Tomorrow has been dubbed Giving Tuesday in the world of non-profits.

Matt Seubert, Development Director of Enable and Transitional Living Services in Syracuse had never heard of Giving Tuesday when it started last year.

"Last year I was sitting at my desk on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and we got an online gift for Giving Tuesday," Seubert said. "And I thought, I have no idea what that is.”

After a little research, he learned it was a national movement started in 2012 to create a national day of giving, following the heavily advertised shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Syracuse wasn’t heavily involved last year, but this year the Central New York Community Foundation is promoting the idea, according to the organization's president, Peter Dunn.

"We thought it would be interesting to help non-profits also think about mobilizing their constituencies through social media, through Twitter and Facebook," Dunn said. "So we created a $5,000 grant as an incentive for the non-profit who gets the most votes through those forms of communication.”

Dunn says votes are counted by the number of tweets or CNY Foundation Facebook mentions using #GivingTuesdayCNY.

"We thought it would be interesting to bring it to Syracuse to help non profits think about how to use social media this time of year, when a lot of giving happens anyway in anticipation of the year end, in order to qualify for tax deductions and whatnot," Dunn said. "Using social media is another way to mobilize support.”

As for Enable, Seubert says they are taking to social media in a way they haven’t before, using clients and employees to tell stories about the work they do, as they try to get enough votes to win that $5,000 prize.

Central New Yorkers can vote for their favorite charities starting at midnight tonight through midnight tomorrow.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.