It all started in 2012 when some do-gooders set out to build a movement to help the internet do better. They saw the spending power of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and decided to direct some of those dollars to social good. Social media was the ideal vehicle to spread the word, and #GivingTuesday was born with a hashtag and a mission to inspire people to give.
Memphians have given more with each year of #GivingTuesday, and last year’s giving was over $800,000! This year, we’re looking to get over a million! But remember: as much as dollars matter, so do kindness, volunteerism, and advocating for the people and causes that matter most to you.
So make a plan to give back on #GivingTuesday and through the holidays by checking out this list, or just get out there and make your own generous magic. Whatever you do on December 3rd and beyond, tag it #GiveMemphis and share it on social to spread the love for the M-town.
Love your city—you know it loves you back!
These are just a few ways to #GiveMemphis your love. We’ve divided them by area of service, so find a cause close to your heart. If you know of other things happening for #GivingTuesday, tell us in the comments!
HELP KIDS IN SCHOOLS
Believe Memphis Academy: Believe serves 4th-8th graders. Founded in ‘18, their goal is to raise $6,000 on #GivingTuesday for literacy intervention efforts. 100% of their students are 2 or more reading grade levels behind. #GiveMemphis kids a better shot at being great readers, which creates a life full of opportunity.
Compass Community Schools: Remember field trips? Getting the right seat on the bus, maybe taking a canned drink wrapped in foil to keep it cold? $25 helps Compass Schools send a child on a field trip. Go to their #GivingTuesday page and give kids experiences at the zoo, theater, and museums.
Grizzlies Prep: Many of our city’s boys are struggling in school. This public school’s joyful environment prepares hundreds of young men for successful lives. This #GivingTuesday they need 25 donors to give $25 a month so Memphis can feel confident in the future of our boys.
KIPP Memphis: KIPP builds joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students to pursue the paths they choose, to lead fulfilling lives and build a more just world. On #GivingTuesday they’ll share their teacher’s projects on Donors Choose, so go there, search for KIPP, and help teachers help their kids.
Memphis Oral School for the Deaf: Gifts to MOSD support their mission to empower children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen, learn, and talk. Read more about the heart of MOSD on Teach901 and donate on #GivingTuesday for a chance to win Kendra Scott jewelry!
MOST: The Memphis Opportunity Scholarship Trust provides scholarships for qualifying students to attend private schools, promoting access to great schools for all children in the Memphis area—regardless of their ZIP codes or family incomes. This #GivingTuesday, they’re going to support their scholars and schools in some pretty delicious ways, so follow them on Facebook and Instagram to see the fun unfold!
New Hope Christian Academy: This elementary school in Frayser is raising funds for arts and athletics. Watch a quick video to see how New Hope enriches education, and be one of 100 donors to give $25 to #GiveMemphis kids great educational experiences beyond the classroom.
HOST A DRIVE
Shelby County Schools: SCS is collecting new coats, hats, gloves, and donations to help keep their students warm this year. Get all the info here and consider rallying your friends or business for a coat drive!
Sweet Cheeks Diaper Ministry: One of only two diaper banks in Tennessee, this one has donated 200,000 diapers to 2,000 families in need since 2014. #GiveMemphis families a hand by hosting a diaper drive for #GivingTuesday, or help reach the goal of $2,000 for the day. Learn more!
SUPPORT AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Memphis Athletic Ministries: MAM’s Christmas Store makes a difference for Memphis families in need, allowing them to choose just the right gifts at a local Target. MAM’s #GivingTuesday goal is $3000 and they’re ready to get that Facebook match, too, so your gift can be doubled!
P.U.R.E. YOUTH: This unique program combines an accredited homeschool, mentoring, and serious sports training and its scholar athletes are accomplishing great things. They’re raising funds and awareness for their unique program, so check them out.
Repairing the Breach: For almost 20 years, RTB has served youth in Alcy-Ball, developing them into confident leaders. These teens opt into demanding leadership programs, and thrive. Help them have a great Christmas by donating $25 to sponsor a child. Give here.
STREETS Ministries: With athletic and academic programs located Downtown and in Highland Heights, STREETS needs lots of volunteers. Mentors serve 6th-12th graders, while Readers serve 2nd-3rd graders. Get involved in volunteering or give $35 to sponsor an afterschool meal.
SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
MIFA: Who doesn’t love a doubled donation? MIFA has a matching challenge from Kroger for #GivingTuesday, so you can #GiveMemphis seniors the gift of a hot meal and a home visit. Their goal is to provide 6,000 meals with the money raised this year—let’s get there!
Operation Broken Silence: OBS raises support for Sudanese-led programs that empower relief efforts in that country. On #GivingTuesday they’re raising $12,500 for a library, with all gifts tripled. They’re also hosting a Scavenger Hunt beginning Sat., Nov. 30 and running through #GivingTuesday (Dec. 3rd), when they’ll have a meetup at Wiseacre. What’s not to love?
Room in the Inn: RITI Memphis practices #holyhospitality at 50 congregations across the city, providing a night’s rest, a warm meal, and a safe community space for 575+ homeless people each year. RITI needs monthly support; help them meet their goal of 700 new donors at $10 a month and consider attending their 10 Year Anniversary open house on #GivingTuesday!
SUPPORT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Advance Memphis: Advance provides GED/HSE classes, job placement, and soft skills training to neighbors in South Memphis. They’ve got 3 ways to support their work on #GivingTuesday: start a fundraiser on Facebook, volunteer, or sign up for their prayer newsletter.
Binghampton Development Corporation: For 16 years, the BDC has supported people and programs that are building a stronger Binghampton. This year, they’re looking for 50 #GivingTuesday donors to give $16 in honor of those years. Be a good neighbor to the Binghampton community, and help reach the goal!
Bridgetown: Working in Binghampton, this new organization helps neighborhood leaders identify their talents, skills and abilities and then empowers them to address the concerns of their community, as they define them. They’re raising funds for a duplex to provide housing for individuals and families as they move toward stable income; support them on #GivingTuesday!
S.O.S: In 2019, Service Over Self provided new roofs for 35 families in Binghampton and Orange Mound. They engage teen and college-age leaders in this work, spreading an understanding of service and community development. You can help restore family homes and develop youth into servant leaders with your #GivingTuesday gift of $35.00.