Around the country, communities are coming together on #GivingTuesday. Our community leaders range from volunteer leaders to community foundations to large nonprofit organizations. What they have in common is a belief that bringing the community together around the spirit of collective generosity on #GivingTuesday has ripple effects far beyond the day. In this series, we’re sharing some of the highlights of #GivingTuesday community campaigns.

#BigBendGivesBack 

Tallahassee and the surrounding Big Bend, Florida area      

Get Involved

Q&A with Colette Podgorski, Co-Founder of #BigBendGivesBack and Director of Development at FSU

Q. What inspired you to become a #GivingTuesday community campaign leader?

A. After reading about communities coming together on #GivingTuesday, a group of Tallahassee women from the Big Bend Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Community Foundation of North Florida, the Council on Culture and Arts, the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence, United Partners for Human Services and the United Way of the Big Bend came together to create #bigbendgivesback, our local campaign. Using their collective power, these women use their organizations’ membership to create a coalition of approximately 300 nonprofit organizations that have joined forces to promote volunteerism and philanthropy in the Big Bend Region.

Q. How does #GivingTuesday help you expand your impact in the Big Bend area?

A. Big Bend Gives Back works to bring nonprofits in our community together in order to create more widespread change. We promote the efforts of each organization and use #GivingTuesday as a means to educate the Big Bend region on the nonprofits and how people can contribute to them. Every year on Giving Tuesday we host an event that is meant to bring the organizations together and engage donors in actively supporting their favorite cause.

Q. Tell us about your campaign. What's your goal? How are you building awareness and excitement?

A. Our goal is to bring community awareness to the nonprofits in our area and promote philanthropy. We have invited each nonprofit in our coalition of nearly 300 to participate in an #UNselfie contest during the two weeks leading up to #GivingTuesday as well as a competition on the day of to see who can get the most donations. Donations will be given to the winners of both contests to promote participation and a popular local restaurant will help us host the donation drive on #GivingTuesday.



Q. Tell us something unique about your campaign this year.

A. #BigBendGivesBack has partnered with the Tallahassee Democrat, our local newspaper, to promote our #UNselfie contest and allow the community to vote for their favorite contestant. Winners will receive a $500 donation and a $500 credit at Target Print and Mail. On #GivingTuesday, there will be an event at Madison Social, a local hot spot, promoting each nonprofit that joins us. Well known members of our community will act as guest bartenders, and each drink that is purchased will equal one vote for the nonprofit of choice. Commemorative glasses will also be sold with proceeds of each purchase being donated. The nonprofit with the most votes will win a catering credit for their business.

Q. Is there a local #GivingTuesday campaign that you are really watching this year?

A. The Animal Shelter Foundation (ASF) is the local all-volunteer nonprofit organization that supports homeless animals in the care of Tallahassee Animal Services. As a participant in the #GivingTuesday campaign, they are calling on the community to help continue to reduce the number of unwanted pets and save thousands of local homeless animals. With the help of incredibly generous local donors, donations up to $10,450.00 will be matched, to help them reach their goal of $50,000! We love to see community members coming together to support local nonprofits and we encourage everyone in the Big Bend area to come together and rally behind organizations that are truly making a difference.  

For more information or to get involved, email: cpodgorski@foundation.fsu.edu.