Arcus Foundation Encourages Donations to Grantees on Giving Tuesday

November 27, 2012
NEW YORK – 27 November, 2012: The Arcus Foundation is encouraging donors across the United States to contribute to charitable activities on November’s national day of giving known as Giving Tuesday.

In advance of Giving Tuesday, the Foundation awarded a raft of small grants, amounting to US$78,275, to 11 organizations strongly allied to its mission of creating a just and humane world that respects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, and respects and protects the world’s great apes.

One of the grantees, National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), launched a fundraising drive for an initiative aimed at creating the next generation of Black LGBT activists and leaders in the United States.

The NBJC initiative identifies rising stars aged 18-30 in the Black LGBT movement and provides them a platform to develop their leadership abilities, use their voices, build networks, and take action in their communities.

“Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of young people of color in shaping U.S. Policies and in sustaining a vibrant and impactful equality movement,” said Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, NBJC’s Executive Director, noting a blog about Giving Tuesday by NBJC emerging leader Je-Shawna Wholley.

A total of 31 organizations, the majority with organizational budgets under $1 million, were considered under the following criteria: fit with Arcus’ strategy; clarity and articulation of concept and implementation plan; opportunity for learning; likelihood of success; necessity of Arcus support; and strength of media profile for Giving Tuesday.

“Giving Tuesday is a reminder of the importance of helping those in need and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups,” said Kevin Jennings, Arcus’ Executive Director. “We’re excited to support these recipients in using small amounts of money to expand their base of supporters and use tools like social media to attract much needed revenue.”

Another award recipient is the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) which promotes excellence in sanctuary management and in humane care of animals.

“This grant will seed our efforts to raise standards at ape sanctuaries in Asia,” said GFAS’ Deputy Director Jackie Bennett. “Mounting a social media campaign will mobilize our supporters to contribute to the survival of dwindling orangutan populations in Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as gibbon populations throughout Southeast Asia.”

Ten organizations awarded $7,500 each were: In Defense of Animals; Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project Center for Great ApesGlobal Federation of Ape SanctuariesNew Nature FoundationNational Queer Asian Pacific Islander AllianceTransgender Law CenterJust Detention InternationalLutherans Concerned (Reconciling Works); National Black Justice Coalition.  In addition, Affinity Community Services requested and was awarded $3,275.

Giving Tuesday, coordinated by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, is held  to complement the U.S. retail sector’s ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday’ by bringing together more than 750 partners (including retailers, charities, and online organizations) in 50 states to raise funds for charitable causes.

More information about Giving Tuesday is available at www.givingtuesday.org and through a Facebook profile at www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday, Twitter feed @GivingTues and a Pinterest account at http://pinterest.com/givingtuesday/giving-quotes.

Founded in 2000 by Jon Stryker, the mission of the Arcus Foundation is to achieve social justice that is inclusive of sexual orientation, gender identity and race, and to ensure conservation and respect of the great apes. The Foundation works globally and has offices in Kalamazoo, Michigan, New York City and Cambridge, U.K.