Local Area Community Funds promote UNselfies on #Giving Tuesday
Somehow the idea of “giving” gets lost during the “season of giving.” With all the focus on spending and buying, giving to those in need seems to have been buried under a pile of boxes and wrapping paper.
But social media may be coming to the rescue. ‘The UNselfie Movement,’ a campaign in which people take pictures of themselves and their favorite charitable cause, is spreading like wildfire around the Web. More than 8,000 organizations in the U.S. have signed up as partners, from charities to businesses to small towns to cities.
"To mark this #GivingTuesday, we ask you to use your social networks by posting #UNselfies plus challenging five friends to do the same,” says Sarah Copeland, the Foundation’s Director of Grants and Programs. “Anyone who wants to celebrate the powerful positive role that giving plays in our world can share and post their own “UNselfie” on their favorite social media sites and by email.”
It seems to be working. There are multiple UNselfie Instagram pages, countless #UNselfie tweets on Twitter and loads of UNselfies on Facebook and other social-media sites. Even celebrities like Heidi Klum and Katie Couric have UNselfies.
Last year, during #Giving Tuesday, five Area Community Funds promoted UNselfies. This year, they are doing it again. One way to join in is to attend your local Area Community Fund #Giving Tuesday event on December 3. There will be refreshments – coffee and conversation - with local Fund Advisory Committee members and UNselfie sheets to quickly fill out. They can even help you post your UNselfie right to your Facebook page.
To take an UNselfie, all you need to do is write on a piece of paper the cause you're supporting on #GivingTuesday. People then hold the piece of paper in front of their face and snap an UNselfie.
The #UNselfie is not about showing off or advertising how virtuous you are. It is a way of saying, this cause is important to me—and seeing that, people may be inspired to look more deeply into the causes you support, or to think about, and hopefully UNselfie the causes that matter to them.
Copeland says, “There are several reasons why this is interesting. First, being charitable and unselfish is great. Think of all good we could do in our community if everyone charitably participated. Is that the most interesting thing? Certainly not! People in the Greater Itasca Area are unbelievably charitable.”
Last year, numerous neighbors stopped by American Bank in Nashwauk on #Giving Tuesday and created UNselfies. Many people supported their Area Community Fund through a memorial gift or an honorarium. (An honorarium is like a memorial, but provides a gift in honor of someone who is living.) The Nashwauk Area Community Fund is a great example of Community Giving to Community through honorariums.
The Nashwauk Area Community Fund has grown over the years in part through honorariums. Hundreds of small birthday and anniversary gifts, sometimes $10 or $25 dollars, in honor of aunts, uncles or parents, have grown the Nashwauk Area Community Fund. In the next few weeks, the Fund will be giving back almost $20,000 to the Nashwauk Area because of community support.
During Giving Tuesday, look for the event in your community. The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, thanks to a Blandin Foundation grant, will double your donation to your Area Community Fund. “Be on the lookout. December 3 is fast approaching,” concludes Copeland.