It’s almost Thanksgiving, and that means #GivingTuesday is just around the corner. Beyond giving thanks, however, The Consortium is encouraging people to also give back this year by committing their time, energy or resources to help others.
An international day of charitable giving, #GivingTuesday also inspires people to donate their time and to support causes that are close to them. For the fourth year in a row, The Consortium has committed to participating and is asking member schools to do the same.
“We ask Consortium students at partnering schools to plan a service project day, we ask alumni to advocate for The Consortium — to tell someone about the program or to perform a random act of kindness in their community — and we ask members and friends to donate to The Consortium on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to kick off our Year End Appeal,” says Karen Green, manager of individual giving for The Consortium. “The idea is to collectively, on one day, make your community a better place in whatever way you can — a day for good.”
Service Projects & Charitable Giving
Students can select any nonprofit organization they want to assist for their service project; however, The Consortium does provide a list of organizations in each school’s geographic area, mostly related to education, that they can choose from. The goal is for the projects to be completed in one day. “The entire campaign is about the good that can be done in 24 hours,” Green says, adding that the actual hours of each service project can vary.
In the past, students’ projects have run the gamut, from clothing drives, gardening or working at food banks to tutoring or cataloging books for libraries.
The Consortium will partner with Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and Junior Achievement to work with children in the Woodland School in Jennings School District. Green notes that Junior Achievement’s focus on education and providing “practical business projects for students” aligns with The Consortium’s mission. “The students will be educators and actually go into the classrooms to make presentations, [performing] the role of educators,” she says.
In addition to WashU, other participating schools this year include Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University-Bloomington, Rice University, the University of Rochester, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the University of California, Berkeley.
Since 2016, The Consortium’s involvement in #GivingTuesday has helped raise money for the organization and its largest financial campaign, the Year End Appeal, which concludes January 1. Through charitable donations — all contributed in just 24 hours each year — The Consortium has raised $30,000 over the last few years, which Green says has provided more than 12 fellows the experience of attending the annual Orientation Program & Career Forum (OP). This year’s fundraising goal for #GivingTuesday is $15,000.
Other Ways to Get Involved
Even if students, schools or alumni aren’t able to do a service project or donate to The Consortium, Green says there are still ways to get involved.
“They can be an advocate — tell your friends about The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management and encourage them to give,” she says. “They can show support on social media — post a picture on our Facebook page — … or they can perform a random act of kindness in their community.”
A Strengthening Effort
When The Consortium began its involvement in #GivingTuesday four years ago, the number of participating member schools was just two. This year, however, Green says they expect at least 10 to participate, indicating that the effort is gaining momentum.
“The movement is growing,” she says. “Can you imagine 100 percent participation? Now that would be impactful!”
For Green and others at The Consortium, #GivingTuesday provides an ideal opportunity to engage students and encourage them to give back.
“We feel it is the perfect introduction to philanthropy for our students,” Green says. “Involvement … is beneficial to the individual, the organization, the community and society as a whole, and we encourage them to give of their time or treasures for the good of our community. This movement is helping to shape the future of philanthropy.”
#GivingTuesday has also demonstrated to the organization the true strength that lies in numbers and the impact that can be had when those numbers are used for good.
“The #GivingTuesday movement has helped The Consortium demonstrate and realize its collective power,” Green says. “This campaign is an example to our [students and] alumni [that they] can create change and impact the communities in which they live.”