For a city that so often makes the news for its problems, it’s lovely to see Baltimore getting some press for something 100 percent positive: on Tuesday, Baltimoreans donated more than $5 million to local non-profits (yes, in a single day), making us the most generous city in America.
Now, it should be noted that this wasn’t just a spontaneous outpouring of charity; the idea of motivating an entire community to raise money on one day came from New York City’s 92nd Street Y. It’s intended as a kind of reminder that amid all the post-Thanksgiving shopping mania — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, etc. — people shouldn’t forget to set something aside for those in need.
This year, Baltimore-based GiveCorps, the web-based fundraising/donation platform, decided to see whether our little ol’ city could raise more money than New York City–or any other city in the country, for that matter. And, thanks to a significant PR campaign and lots of Twitter hustling, they managed to pull it off. “Local businesses and institutions were enthusiastic participants, with outfits like Joe Squared offering a special Bmore Gives More pizza and donating the profits or Charm City Run having a special sale with a percentage of the proceeds going towards charity,” writes What Weekly, a marketing partner in the Bmore Gives More campaign. Other local businesses donated rewards to be handed out to donors. In other words, it was a serious mobilization of many of the city’s resources — pretty inspirational.
Now, the only caveat is that it doesn’t exactly seem as though other cities were in on this competition. They were just going about their business, donating as usual, while Baltimore had an entire promotional machine encouraging us to give. But to my mind, that doesn’t deflate the accomplishment at all — other cities can take a few lessons from us on how to be a little more proactive in their charity!
Of course, even though #GivingTuesday is over, there’s still plenty of need out there — and the Bmore Gives more website is still accepting donations here.
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