HOLLAND — In an effort to raise funds, nonprofit organizations around the country participated in a Giving Tuesday Now campaign on Tuesday, May 5.
Giving Tuesday typically occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but with many nonprofits serving an increased role or seeing a lack in funding amid the coronavirus, organizations held an impromptu day six months early.
Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance director Patrick Cisler noted that the traditional Giving Tuesday doesn’t typically have a huge impact locally, and while some organizations made a push for donations on May 5, most saw little impact.
“I did a quick polling (Thursday) morning with about 30 nonprofit leaders on a call,” Cisler said. “I asked if they took part, did they see giving go up? It was almost a unanimous no. I didn’t expect a big impact, but had hope for maybe a little more.”
Cisler noted a few nonprofits that were active on social media calling for support, including Holland Museum and Community Action House. He also noted the Children’s Advocacy Center, which flipped Giving Tuesday into a chance to give back to and thank local law enforcement agencies with pizza deliveries.
While the single-day numbers may not have increased for most agencies, the need for funding has. Cisler said that for “front line” nonprofits providing services like food and housing, funding is especially critical.
“For front line nonprofits, funding is more important than ever,” he said. “From a food delivery perspective, they are seeing three or four times the amount of need than a year ago. That’s hundreds and hundreds of families. Housing, like Good Samaritan, they’re seeing double the amount of housing calls.
“Whenever need goes up, that directly translates to a need for additional funding. It’s critical for folks that support nonprofits to step up during this time.”
Cisler noted that some other nonprofits that are currently not operating, like Holland Museum and Tulip Time, will need support to come back strong after the pandemic as well.
“There are other nonprofits that wouldn’t necessarily be considered essential during this time, but are still organizations we treasure,” he said. “A lot of people aren’t turning to them to fund during this time because they aren’t feeding people or housing people.
“For nonprofits as a whole, we want as many as possible to come out of this when doors reopen. The reality is that a few won’t. I’m optimistic locally, but there are a lot of conversations around the state where it’s not looking as good.”
To learn more about or support local nonprofits, visit the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance and/or Care Ottawa County websites.
— Contact reporter Mitchell Boatman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SentinelMitch.