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Donations Pour into Maryland Nonprofits on #GivingTuesday

Wednesday, December 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
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December 1, 2015

Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Dance Crews Project set an ambitious goal Tuesday: By posting step-by-step video tutorials, the fledgling group hoped to get 5,000 people dancing and raise $5,000.

Brian Gerardo, the group's director, said momentum from #GivingTuesday brought them dozens of new followers on Facebook and Instagram, and put them on track toward raising the cash they need to offer after-school programs and workshops to more local children and teens. By late Tuesday, they had raised nearly $3,000.

"It goes to show us, our story is leaving an impression on people," Gerardo said."Hip-hop dance is what we love, and what we do. But it's also a hook. We can help our students … gain the skills they need, to learn how to work with others, how to communicate and how to set goals."

Maryland charities were working to eclipse the estimated $9 million donated last year in dollars and volunteer hours on #GivingTuesday. The national online fundraising blitz has grown rapidly since it was created four years ago by a New York City nonprofit. Estimates put fundraising totals across the country at $12 million in 2012, $27 million in 2013 and $45 million in 2014. The 92nd Street Y, a 141-year-old cultural center, came up with the concept to counter the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Allison Albert, a spokeswoman for Maryland Nonprofits, said more than 2 million gifts poured into charities across the state Tuesday. The group did not know how much money had been raised, but will tally the amount by end of the week.

"It's one day to celebrate philanthropies and charities and generosity and giving," she said. "That's what the holiday season is supposed to be about. It's making good go viral."

About 450 nonprofits signed on to the #MDGivesMore campaign, which has a goal of helping Maryland become known as the most giving state in the country, Albert said. While no state will officially win that designation, she said the nonprofits hope the campaign will drive a friendly competition and showcase the generosity of Marylanders.

She pointed to the success of a fundraising campaign in Baltimore in 2013 on #GivingTuesday that raised $5.6 million in a single day and was regarded as one of the most successful drives that year.

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