#GivingTuesday on Dec. 1 promotes generosity as a holiday priority

Livestreamed, throwback telethon offers Presbyterians an opportunity to engage in the global day of giving

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Among the many challenges of the current pandemic, charitable giving has not been one of them.

In fact, because the “Chronicle of Philanthropy” has reported that overall giving to nonprofits is up by as much as 7.5% in 2020, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is planning to both celebrate and promote such ongoing generosity on #GivingTuesday, which falls this year on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Because Presbyterians have always been a generous people, a multi-agency, cross-departmental staff team of the PC(USA) — which also includes representation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly — has planned a 12-hour livestream designed to entertain, inform and continue to encourage greater giving on #GivingTuesday.

Ever since the founding of #GivingTuesday in 2012, nonprofits, small businesses, corporations, schools and faith-based organizations all over the world have mobilized to celebrate this global day of giving held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Originally launched as a philanthropic response to the consumer-driven holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day has continued to grow not only in dollars raised, but also in participating organizations. Likewise, annual giving to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — which joined the #GivingTuesday movement in 2014 — has grown with each ensuing year both in terms of dollars raised and in number of donors.

“This year, we not only want to raise more money for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we want to engage with new donors,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “GivingTuesday gives new opportunities for those who have never had this type of relationship with the church.”

Inspired by telethons of the past and the recent Presbyterian Week of Action, the PC(USA) will be holding a virtual event with the theme, “We are the Church, together,” which will include worship and reflection, prayer, mental health breaks,  ministry area highlights, and a game show called “PresbySquares.”

“In these uncertain times of pandemic, political struggles and social unrest, the church is needed more than ever,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “It is incumbent on all Presbyterians to come together and make a difference. #GivingTuesday is a means to help during this time and reach a world that is struggling to determine how we move forward.”

In its campaign this year, the PC(USA) will be emphasizing support for Shared Mission, Special Offerings and Per Capita as the Church continues to embody Matthew 25.

“On #GivingTuesday, we are part of a national day of generosity,” said the Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, senior director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Mission Engagement and Support. “Whether you are a person who plans out your giving well in advance or a person inspired to give in the moment, we hope that you will join our Presbyterian family on this special day — a day when every gift at every level from every Presbyterian matters. That’s why we say, ‘We are the Church, together!’”

More information — including a complete telethon schedule — for  #GivingTuesday will soon be available at giving-tuesday.pcusa.org. Downloadable graphics and suggested texts in support of #GivingTuesday are available by clicking here.

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