By Alex Gladu
All year long, Somerville Local First brings together more than 170 local businesses in its local Massachusetts community in support of the buy local movement. Through Somerville Local First, these businesses work together to encourage consumers to shift their shopping toward Main Street, thereby returning money to the local economy and creating a vibrant community. Around the holidays, Somerville Local First also works with several local nonprofit organizations to encourage consumers to give local.
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about kicking off the holiday shopping season with good deals and new products. Immediately following them is Giving Tuesday, which encourages shoppers to make a donation to a charity or nonprofit organization of their choice. Since launching in 2012, Giving Tuesday has gotten the attention and involvement of partners like The United Nations Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2015, Giving Tuesday will take place on Tuesday, December 1 — and Somerville Local First doesn’t want any consumer in its Massachusetts community to miss it.
Somerville Local First has been getting local consumers to think about Giving Tuesday since at least October. As part of its Giving Tuesday Somerville: Give Local 2015 campaign, Somerville Local First selected 14 local nonprofit organizations to feature and support, including the Somerville Boys & Girls Club, Somerville Community Access Television and the Community Action Agency of Somerville. Throughout the months of October and November, Somerville Local First has featured these organizations on its website and blog, letting consumers get to know the organization, its mission and how they can help.
Somerville Local First also facilitated the donation process for its Giving Tuesday campaign. Instead of having to choose just one organization to donate to, local consumers can donate to a joint fund that will be shared evenly among all 14 groups. Somerville Local First set up the fund through The Giving Common, a Massachusetts initiative that allows groups to collect donations online. By accepting online donations, giving back is as easy as going online and spreading the word is as easy as sharing a link with friends. Somerville Local First hopes to reach a goal of $50,000 for the group of organizations it has selected.
To bring the campaign to life on the big day, Somerville Local First will host a Give Local Celebration Party on Tuesday, December 1 from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event will feature dancing, dinner and entertainment, as well as information about each of the 14 participating nonprofit organizations. What’s more, the celebration will take place at Arts at the Armory, one of the organizations benefitting from the Giving Tuesday campaign. The event is open to the public, but Somerville Local First recommends making a $50 donation through The Giving Common before enjoying the festivities.
Giving local makes a difference in the community no matter the time of year. On Giving Tuesday, though, Somerville Local First hopes to give Massachusetts’s consumers a good reason to make a donation. For more information about Somerville Local First or the Giving Tuesday campaign, visit www.somervillelocalfirst.org.
Independent We Stand is dedicated to helping independent businesses across the country engage their communities and encouraging customers to buy local. If you’re a business owner, get buy local resources, tips and news by registering for a business membership. Your business will also be included in our ‘locals only’ search engine and mobile app. If you’re a consumer, take the pledge to buy local to join the movement.