Columbia College, Mizzou Alumni Association participate in 'Giving Tuesday'

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 | 5:06 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia College and the Mizzou Alumni Association are among those looking into a new way to promote charity this holiday season: Giving Tuesday.

New this year nationally, Giving Tuesday is a kind of altruistic extension of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging consumers to give rather than get. The basic concept is to promote donating to organizations and charities instead of shopping for bargain-priced items.

The Mizzou Alumni Association and Columbia College were promoting their involvement through social media on Tuesday.

Ry Colman, coordinator of e-engagement at the Mizzou Alumni Association, said Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to educate people on what the association does to give back to the MU community.

"Often, people don't realize that what we do here at the alumni association goes beyond membership," he said.

Donations made through Giving Tuesday to the Mizzou Alumni Association can be made in three ways: becoming a member, donating to the Mizzou Traditions Fund, or participating in the Mizzou License Plate Program.

Colman said that when people donate to the association, "it's really them giving back to Mizzou as a whole." He said the association is the largest on-campus contributor to student scholarships and sponsors MU traditions like Homecoming and Tiger Walk.

Consumers can also choose how they want to donate to Columbia College: contributions will go toward funding scholarships and the college's online campus, among other things.

Michael Kateman, executive director of development for the college, said the school was interested in participating because Giving Tuesday is a way to remember the giving spirit of the holidays.

"It seems like a great way to end your shopping binge from Black Friday and Cyber Monday," he said.

Kateman said that charities aren't always the first thing on people's minds after the shopping weekend, and Giving Tuesday serves as a reminder.

"It allows people to remember those causes that are near and dear to their hearts," he said.

According to Giving Tuesday's website, the idea for the movement developed at the 92nd Street Y in New York. An extensive number of corporations and nonprofit organizations, such as Microsoft and Special Olympics, have signed on as partners of the movement.

Both the alumni association and Columbia College are listed as partners with the national program and, along with Heart of Missouri United Way, are the only ones from Columbia.

This is the first year Giving Tuesday was put into practice, so its impact remains to be seen.

"Hopefully next year it will be a known thing, and it can grow from there," Colman said.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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