More than just a hashtag: #GivingTuesday gives nonprofits boost in the Valley


Staff Writer
Published: 11/30/2018 2:47:22 PM

EASTHAMPTON — Billed as a global day of giving, #GivingTuesday trended across social media platforms around the world earlier this week and encouraged people to contribute donations to nonprofits they support.

The worldwide movement got an official proclamation of support by Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle, who declared Nov. 27 as Giving Tuesday in the city. 

“It is a great way to underscore in our small city how we can support each other and those causes that are near and dear to our heart,” LaChapelle said.  

Created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, the iconic community and cultural center in New York City, Giving Tuesday has since raised over $300 million, in the U.S., in online donations to philanthropic organizations. 

The Treehouse Foundation in Easthampton, a 60-home community where foster families are supported, raised $3,125 in donations on Giving Tuesday.

Treehouse exceeded the nonprofit’s goal for the day, receiving more donations than in years past, said Julie Kumble, the foundation’s director of strategic partnerships and development. 

Kumble said that the donations raised would be used towards Treehouse’s youth programming, which teaches life and leadership skills. 

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts collaborated for a social media campaign with Valley Gives to encourage people to donate locally. 

The CFWM reported that 171 nonprofits in Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties participated in their social media campaign, #ValleyGivingTuesday, with 1,020 posts from Nov. 2 to Nov. 27. 

CFWM also awarded $16,762 total in prize money to organizations who promoted their #ValleyGivingTuesday campaign.

Northampton’s Academy of Music received $500 for a pre-event promotion prize; Amherst Survival Center received $1,127 for promoting #ValleyGivingTuesday; and CitySpace Easthampton received $1,127 for the donor prize.

The Academy of Music raised $1,400 in donations from their online campaign, according to Emily Curro, manager of development and marketing. 

“Any amount we can raise on a day like this benefits our programming here,” including the seasonal series produced by the Academy and their youth program, Curro said. 

Donation drives such as Giving Tuesday “keep the Academy highly relevant and important in the Pioneer Valley,” Curro added.

“(Giving Tuesday) is a good impetus to reach out to the community and let them know we need support,” said Burns Maxey, president of CitySpace.

The donations raised by the nonprofit will go toward CitySpace’s mission of restoring Easthampton’s Old Town Hall into a multi-function facility for performances and various events.

“We are grateful to the Community Foundation for getting all the nonprofits on board to do this,” Maxey said. “It’s something that’s easy to do with social media … and if we don’t ask, then donations might not happen.” 

Luis Fieldman can be reached at 

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