Celebrity

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation open #MyGivingStory submissions

As it has in the past, #GivingTuesday and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have officially stated the #MyGivingStory social media campaign and contest. It’s a program that asks people around country to tell their giving stories: whom they give to and why it is meaningful to them.

The call for submissions opens today, November 2, 2015, and runs through November 24, so get your essay ready and help contribute to a worthwhile cause that is close to your heart. #GivingTuesday is a global movement dedicated to giving, created by 92nd Street Y in 2012 and is now in its fourth year of operation. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

“#GivingTuesday brings individuals and communities together for good, and there are countless stories every year of people giving back in creative, personal and meaningful ways. The goal of #MyGivingStory is to highlight the thousands of acts of generosity that may take place out of the public spotlight. For many people, philanthropy can be daunting – the domain of huge international nonprofits that address challenges on a global level. But the truth is that everyone has something important to give, and every act of philanthropy matters and makes a difference,” said Asha Curran, Director of 92Y’s Center for Innovation and Social Impact. “We hope that #MyGivingStory reminds people that everyone has a part to play in making the world a better place.”

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to helping all people lead a healthy, productive life, including support to help institutions and individuals be more effective and have more impact in giving back. #MyGivingStory aligns with this mission as a platform to learn about what inspires people to give.

Victoria Vrana from the Gates Foundation said, “Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for people to focus on how they want to make a difference in their communities. At the Gates Foundation, we’re big advocates of encouraging generosity in any form. We believe everyone can be great at giving back. Our hope is that by celebrating and sharing stories through #MyGivingStory, more people will join us in this belief and encourage more generosity in their own communities.”

How to Enter #MyGivingStory

Post a short essay (200-words or more) responding to the question, “What inspires you to give?” In it, tell the story of a specific instance in which you supported a nonprofit organization in a way that was meaningful to you.

Your essay must focus on one specific nonprofit organization. Submit your essay by November 24 on the #MyGivingStory tab of #GivingTuesday’s Facebook page. Share and promote your submission on social media with #MyGivingStory and #GivingTuesday.

The 15 essays garnering the most Facebook “likes” are submitted to a distinguished panel of #GivingTuesday ambassadors for judging. This year the Contest judges are Perla Ni, founder and CEO, GreatNonprofits; Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media expert; and Upworthy co-founder Peter Koechley.

Six winners are selected and you can find more information on prizes and rules on the official site at givingtuesday.org/mygivingstory.