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Mine says Mentoring. What does your Giving Tuesday Donation List reflect back to you?

I did the bulk of my annual donations yesterday on Giving Tuesday rather than in the last few days of the year as I usually do.

I then posted an update to Facebook about having done this - and a friend asked me to which groups I donated.

In reflecting how I would answer this question, I suddenly had an “Aha” moment. I have given to organizations that have meant something to me such as the universities providing my education and setting me on a path to the career I've had. I also donate to causes that have touched me personally, usually for friends and relatives affected by severe diseases. And I donate opportunistically but not necessarily every year to causes that reach me through social media and as well as personal network contacts.

I realized that yesterday's choices of my Giving Tuesday dollars largely focus on supporting others for better futures through mentoring and education opportunities.  

So here is my list from yesterday and my reasons for why I give. What does your Giving Tuesday Donation List reflect back to you?

Large donations ($500+)
-Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine: Trained me in public health (twice!) and is training the next generation of public-health leaders
-Washington Area Women’s Foundation: Mentors and supports improvements for economically vulnerable women and girls in the DC region

Medium donations ($60-300)
-University of Rochester School of Nursing: Provided me with the formal start to my career in health and continues to train excellent nurses
-Walnut Hill School: The high school that I went to
-House of Ruth: Provides shelter services for women and kids in Baltimore
-Good Shepherd Services: Supports at-risk kids in Baltimore (and a personal contact)
-Enterprise Community Partners project: A Place to Call Home, A Chance to Succeed: Focuses on affordable and safe housing (and a personal contact)
-WETA: Their public TV resources have brought me excellent BBC mysteries and comedies to balance out my US TV watching
-ALS Association: in memory of my brother
-Alzheimer's Association: in memory of my mother
-Leo Laporte and the network: The network that provides the majority of my podcast listening, keeping me up on technology in more aspects than I ever imagined.

Small donations ($10-50)
-Donors choose for a DC-based elementary school: An opportunity to help provide technology access for elementary students
-Beth Kanter’s NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) crowdrise challenge: Beth is an amazing nonprofit champion and appears to me to have almost single-handedly moved many nonprofits into the world of social media.

And for those interested in why I don't give to the organizations where I've been employed (CARE, JHPIEGO) or similar organizations supporting public health and social causes in which I firmly believe and have been involved for so many years…I am very strongly supportive of the excellent work that CARE and JHPIEGO and others do. But I have chosen to focus on funding organizations in the Baltimore and DC areas that focus on those geographic communities, investing where I live and work.


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