Since today is Giving Tuesday, we are featuring a guest editorial written by Vonda Givens, executive director of the non-profit Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms. All Arts and Crafts collectors, homeowners, and enthusiasts benefit greatly by numerous non-profit organizations, including the Syracuse Gustav Stickley House Foundation, the Roycroft Campus Corporation, the Gamble House, The Rose Valley Museum, and others listed at the close of this article. While these organizations depend on our financial support year-round, today is a special day to show our appreciation by sending them a year-end donation. – B.J.
Giving Tuesday, an international day of charitable giving, was introduced in 2012. This annual event on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving can jumpstart key year-end giving for all non-profits, including those of importance to Arts and Crafts supporters.
It’s possible that Giving Tuesday feels like one more day of post-Thanksgiving fun for you, but maybe it also gives you event fatigue: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now Giving Tuesday.
In the future, will every day before Christmas have a special name?
If you’re feeling numb or even put off by the “hoopla,” I can understand. Giving Tuesday was recently described to me as a “made-up holiday.” I can imagine Gustav Stickley having a similar perspective in a Craftsman magazine editorial warning against falling prey to “following the crowd” under the guise of doing good.
So, why am I writing about Giving Tuesday? Well, here at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms I wear many hats in my job, but like other directors of non-profits, my fundraiser-in-chief hat may be the most important — and also the hardest. For me, it’s nice to experience the 24-hour surge of enthusiasm for charitable giving that comes with this event.
But no matter what day it is, fundraising is easier when I can see this job as less about funds and raising and more about giving and receiving. And that’s what this article is really about.
Giving is a wondrous thing. Giving can be magical. I’ve seen first-hand the incredible things that giving can make possible—I don’t have to look farther than the new Education Center taking shape outside my window. Especially for small organizations, gifts of any amount can bring meaningful support.
Receiving with grace and gratitude is harder than you might think, for receiving comes with responsibility. When you give to a non-profit, it’s our responsibility to receive it honorably and then give back to you—with any number of mission-driven daily operations, from preservation projects and collections care to interpretive exhibitions and programs. In this way, we work in partnership with all of our donors. You give — and then we give. It is our responsibility and also our privilege.
In whatever way you experience Giving Tuesday, please read this as a reminder that it’s always a good day to give. The operation of all Arts and Crafts landmarks sites around the country is made possible because people like you make it possible. We open our doors to visitors, we undertake restoration, we do research, and much more — all with the help of charitable gifts.
So, whether you’re generous on Giving Tuesday or on a random Thursday, what’s most important is the generosity. Give to the causes you care about and experience the magic of giving first-hand.
Note: Here are website links to some Arts and Crafts historic sites. If you don’t see your favorite, email [email protected] and we’ll add it.