CHARLOTTE – Kelly Brooks started SHARE Charlotte to make it easier for people to learn more about charities serving the community. But the website has become much more.
SHARE Charlotte generated more than $7.2 million for 174 charities during a two-week span in November 2016, making it the most successful #GivingTuesday campaign in the country.
Giving Tuesday is a relatively new movement designed to counteract the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All three days immediately follow Thanksgiving.
SHARE Charlotte announced last month that Wells Fargo will serve as the presenting sponsor of this year’s #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign. It seeks to raise $10 million from Nov. 14 to 28 for more than 230 nonprofits.
“My mindset is focused less on the money and more about the number of people that are involved,” Brooks said.
Brooks sees the potential of a community coming together for something positive.
She points to Bethel, Alaska. The small town of 6,000 people held a Giving Tuesday campaign for the first time last year, rallying around a common goal to raise $24,000 for nine nonprofits.
She wants to rally Charlotte in similar fashion.
“We are constantly looking to cast the net wider,” Brooks said. “I say this very earnestly – it’s really thinking about what inclusion means. It’s meant for the whole community to be part of this conversation.”
Nonprofits partnering on #GivingTuesdayCLT run the gamut. There are charities catering to children, art, education, faith, health and environmental preservation.
Julie Campbell, who focuses on nonprofit partnerships, explains there’s multiple ways to give. Aside from donating money or time, people can give a ladder for an art program or buy sheets for a shelter.
Having a marketing and sales background, Campbell helps nonprofits with telling their stories and setting goals through classes and monthly coffee talks with prominent city leaders.
Addie Rising brings 20 years of experience in print and digital media to her role as content and communications director. Her work is just as varied today as it was when she was in journalism.
“I spend a lot of my time talking to nonprofits, getting their stories figuring out common threads and commonalities and how we can get the message of greater collaboration out there,” Rising said.
The team convenes every Tuesday in its Cotswold office to share emerging opportunities for collaboration.
Brooks attributes SHARE Charlotte’s success with #GivingTuesdayCLT to making it easier for nonprofits to get involved in the campaign, as opposed to giving them one more thing to do.
Amy Jacobs, campaign and programs coordinator, thinks SHARE Charlotte is well-positioned to exceed last year’s #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign with more people and nonprofits involved.