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December is a time to give, specially, to the youngest ones. Every year, organizations of all sizes and sectors organize campaigns to channel resources to the communities they work in. It is interesting to see how people’s generosity varies according to age, to their income and even to their city!
“How America Gives,” an annual study developed by, compares the largest metropolitan areas in the United States by looking at IRS data from donations made in previous years. According to the 2014 iteration of this report, only two cities –Salt Lake City, Utah and Memphis, Tennessee—gave more than 5% of their income to charitable organizations. So, what can our cities do to be more generous? And what role should our organizations play in fostering philanthropic activities in our cities?
In 2012, 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City—came up with an answer: creating a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday provides a platform for individuals, organizations and families to donate time, resources and talents to address local challenges.
The movement was created in response to #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday—the year’s biggest shopping events—to celebrate and encourage giving and to kick off the charitable season. To date, #GivingTuesday has over 30,000 partners in 68 countries, which include small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and major corporations. But more importantly, the movement has driven a 470% increase in online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since its inception in 2012.
This year, the Inter-American Development Bank has decided to join this world effort by revamping its own holiday campaign: Share the Magic is the IDB’s annual campaign that collects contributions from generous employees, families and retirees to donate toys and food to community organizations. Launched in 2000 by the Bank’s community relations program—IDB Solidarity—the campaign has donated thousands of toys, bringing joy to hundreds of children and families in Washington D.C.
Share the Magic is usually held in November and December, and its donations are channeled through a network of campaign ambassadors who volunteer to collect the funds raised by their departments and teams. In 2014, the campaign had 63 ambassadors, who helped collect 4,968 toys and 204 boxes of food that were distributed to 49 community organizations located in the D.C. metro area and in the cities where IDB country offices are located.
Photo: Share the Magic 2014
In 2015, the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) has the honor to work in tandem with the Bank’s Office of External Relations (EXR) to organize this campaign. More than 1000 employees from the IDB Headquarters in Washington D.C., as well as more than 500 employees from the 28 IDB Country Offices in Latin America and the Caribbean, will participate in this effort that will benefit hundreds of children in 29 cities across the region.
Share the Magic 2015 will begin on Monday, November 30 and will end on Tuesday, December 1, (#GivingTuesday) and hopes to help spread the word of this global cause in the region. We invite you to stay tuned on the results of this collaborative effort, and to share with us your ideas on how your city can participate in this movement to give back and improve lives during the holiday season.