Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of GivingTuesday, a movement sparked by Henry Timms, the executive director of the 92nd Street YMCA and now the president and CEO at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The idea, Timms recently told PBS News Hour, was to provide a counterpoint to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and dedicate a day to doing good for others.
To say the idea took hold is an understatement: GivingTuesday raised $10 million in the U.S. the first year and has now spread to more than 75 countries. In 2020, the combined #GivingTuesday and GivingTuesdayNow, which was held on May 5 in response to the hardships caused by the pandemic, raised more than $3 billion in the United States.
Over the last decade, giving back has become foundational to many in the events industry, as event professionals have designed and executed digital and in-person programs that have raised millions for a variety of charitable and environmental causes. The last two years have shifted the dynamics for many, bringing hardship for event professionals in the form of furloughs, layoffs, and lost business. It’s also unleashed unprecedented demonstrations of generosity and creativity as event professionals continue to find new ways to respond to the needs of their communities within and outside the industry.
To celebrate the spirit of GivingTuesday, we are highlighting four nonprofits that are dedicated to responding to event professionals in need of support, offered by Rachael Riggs. Riggs, wellbeing leader for Maritz Global Events, shared these resources during a presentation for EventMinded, a free digital event about mental health for event organizers, presented by Hopin.
The EventWell Resilience Fund and Pledge programs — provides direct financial support to event professionals affected by the pandemic in North America and the U.K. eventwell.org
The Meetings Industry Fund — provides financial assistance during times of crisis like a disaster, medical illness, or an emergency. themeetingsindustryfund.org
The SEARCH (Special Event Assistance, Relief & Crisis Help) Foundation — provides assistance to event and catering professionals faced with a life-threatening illness and other catastrophic occurrences. searchfoundation.org
Above and Beyond Foundation —distributes grants to front-line hospitality workers affected by COVID-19. taabf.org