GivingTuesday, broadly stylized as #GivingTuesday in the interest of hashtag activism, is a year-round movement urging people around the world to celebrate generosity. The largest and most visible campaign occurs, as the name suggests, the five days following Thanksgiving culminating on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
According to Asha Curran, co-founder and CEO of GivingTuesday, radical generosity is not “benevolence that the haves show to the have-nots, but rather an expression of mutuality, solidarity and reciprocity.” A model for this notion, inside the world of associations, is the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) who runs a GivingTuesday campaign wherein the members of the society, along with the society itself, fund the research of the field’s young and underrepresented scientists.
A Model for Fundraising
ASBMR is a scientific, medical society with the mission to promote excellence in bone, mineral and musculoskeletal research, and translate that research into clinical practice. Institutional funding cutbacks have left scientists in charge of finding new ways of funding their research. Without funding, many groundbreaking discoveries would be delayed, and the prevention and treatment of bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoporosis, deferred. At the Society’s 2015 annual meeting, the organization launched the ASBMR Fund for Research and Education as a response to its members’ need for financial resources. The fund is supported by individual donations and provides grants and training opportunities for basic and clinical researchers in the bone, mineral, and musculoskeletal field.
Over the past five years, the ASBMR leveraged the visibility around #GivingTuesday to build momentum and boost participation around their end-of-year fundraising efforts. They have provided funding for 45 researchers to date. In 2021 alone, they have funded 10 recipients, with a total of $49,000 in donations. Here is the breakdown of how the money is allocated:
- Six $7,500 research grants with one specifically designated for an underrepresented minority recipient.
- Two $1,000 ASBMR Fund for Research and Education Young Investigator Awards
- One $1,000 ASBMR Fund for Research and Education Diversity Young Investigator Award
- One $1,000 ASBMR Fund for Research and Education Emerging Country Young Investigator Award
Beyond bolstering momentum around the giving season, the ASBMR #GivingTueday campaign does a dollar-for-dollar match for up to $25,000 in donations. The society, thus, not only incentivizes giving, but truly puts its money where its mouth is — doubling the impact of individual contributions. Most recently, COVID-19 has posed new challenges on how research is performed at hospitals and universities. ASBMR Research and Education recipient Dr. Stephanie Moore shares her testimonial:
Strategy and Results
GivingTuesday is only part of ASBMR’s dollar-for-dollar fundraising efforts. The first match campaign was implemented in May 2019 in honor of National Osteoporosis Month where nearly $23,000 was raised with the ASBMR match.
Social media has played an important role in the organization’s giving campaigns. For their end-of-year fundraising efforts in 2020, ASBMR posted a new reason to give every day at 2:25 p.m. for 25 days leading up to GivingTuesday. In part, due to strategic planning and sustained marketing engagement efforts across multiple channels, the 2020 #GivingTuesday campaign raised nearly $23,000, just shy of $46,000 with the ASBMR match.
In addition to the match campaigns, ASBMR held its first-ever Virtual 5K Fun Run/Walk in 2021 as part of National Osteoporosis Month, where members were encouraged to run, walk, ride, and roll with friends and family on a route of choice either in their neighborhood, a park, or even on a treadmill, to raise money for the ASBMR Fund for Research and Education. The Society partnered with Be The Good and It’s Your Race, an online race management company to boost the overall organization and experience of the run. On their first run, ASBMR had 230 participants and raised nearly $4,000.
The dollar-for-dollar match attests to ASBMR’s commitment to its mission and acts as a strong incentive for members to do the same. One of the reasons ASBMR’s #GivingTuesday is so successful is that 100 percent of all funds are funneled directly back into the community. Both young and underrepresented researchers are in many senses the spark and future of the field’s innovation but often lack the funding and exposure needed to complete, promote, and apply their research. Members further along in their career have said it’s easy to give back because they themselves remember the hardships of being a young, underfunded researcher. The giving is, in all respects, an investment into the future of bone and mineral science.
Marcella Landri is in the Marketing & Communication Services unit at Smithbucklin.