#GivingTuesday: Why it’s so important to give back year round

 //  Dec 10, 2013

#GivingTuesday: Why it’s so important to give back year round

It’s been a week since Giving Tuesday, and as part of an effort to continue to raise awareness about the important contributions so many non-profits provide year round, I asked a few of our extraordinary partners to share some thoughts on why it’s so critical for companies and individuals to give to organizations who are helping to address some of society’s most pressing issues.

Mike King, President/CEO, Volunteers of America: “The importance of donations from individuals, foundations and corporations can never be overstated. Philanthropy represents our margin of excellence; it lets us serve more people and affords us an opportunity to address the quality as well as the quantity of our services. It helps us fill gaps in existing funding to create new services in response to emerging needs.  It is the difference between simply keeping people alive and giving them a life.   Philanthropy makes a critical difference in the lives of the people we serve.”

Dr Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read Wisconsin: “Through Reach Out and Read, medical providers arm more than 4 million families with books and knowledge about the importance reading to children beginning in infancy. The research, including 15 peer-reviewed studies about the effectiveness of Reach Out and Read, shows us that books in the home, and involved parents make a world of difference in a child's school, and overall life success. During the preschool years, children served by Reach Out and Read score three to six months ahead of their non-Reach Out and Read peers on vocabulary tests, preparing them to start school on target.” Read more in this recent Huffington Post blog.

Jane Heaphy, Executive Director, Learning Leaders: "It is important for companies and individuals to contribute to organizations like ours because we are all stakeholders in the success of our public education system.  Our society is built on that success.  We know that family engagement is key to student achievement. Learning Leaders promotes this by building family-school relationships, providing parent information workshops, and training volunteers to provide classroom and other assistance in NYC.  As a non-profit working with over 300 schools, making a difference in the lives of 180,000 children, we require philanthropic investments by corporations and individuals to sustain our work.  A donation supporting education makes an impact on children today and on future generations."

Lee Seham, General Counsel, NBRA: “We’re so proud of our collaboration with Scholastic on the program “Time Out for Reading,” which is designed to enhance the literacy skills of sixth grade students. Each referee participating in this program cherishes the wonderful opportunity to give back to the community by visiting the schools and serving as positive mentors to the children. Each community has leaders that can help make a difference, simply by giving their time.”

Michael Haberman, President, PENCIL: "More and more, people are looking for opportunities to put their skills to use in a way that creates real change for their communities. The funding we receive allows us to develop and support programming that helps people use their professional skills to build stronger school leaders, boost family engagement in their children’s learning, and prepare students to thrive in college and their future careers."

Sheena Wright, President and CEO, United Way of New York City: "United Way of New York City is fiercely committed to student success and we strive to reach as many supporters as possible to enlist their help for our work, including READ NYC, our new campaign to get children reading on grade level," says Sheena Wright, President and CEO of United Way of New York City. "We leverage our unique and long-standing partnerships in the corporate, nonprofit and public sectors to cultivate communities of advocacy, giving and policy change. Our goal? To make New York work for every New Yorker. #GivingTuesday provides one more opportunity to accomplish this."

NBRA. NBRA Volunteers reading with students in Charlotte, NC.