#GivingTuesday in the Diocese of Trenton will benefit Catholic schools.
#GivingTuesday in the Diocese of Trenton will benefit Catholic schools.
" The goal is to come together, build awareness and provide support [for Catholic education]. "

The Diocese of Trenton will again conduct its own #GivingTuesday campaign to promote and advocate for the gift of Catholic schools.

The goal is “to come together, build awareness and provide support [for Catholic education],” said Christine Prete, associate director of development operations in the diocesan Department of Development. “We’re hoping that it energizes people; we want people to focus on little gifts with lots of participation.”

Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the worldwide charitable campaign of #GivingTuesday falls on Dec. 3 this year. #GivingTuesday has gained traction as a way of galvanizing people to unite in charity and make a change in one’s community as the year’s end approaches.

In the Diocese of Trenton, #GivingTuesday was first conducted in 2016 as a way to benefit Catholic schools across Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In 2018, the campaign focused on tuition assistance; this year will allow each participating Catholic school to list specific needs on a personalized online landing page. Participants will be encouraged to make a financial contribution to the school of their choice, commit to volunteering their time at a school in their area, or to share a prayer for Catholic schools. Anyone can participate – family, friends, alumni or any supporter of Catholic education. To take part, visit www.LeadinFaith.org.

“Last year was a testing of the crowdfunding technique for the Diocese,” Prete said. “We had 130 new donors; each school that participated saw an increase in donations.”

This year the focus is on spreading awareness about #GivingTuesday – both the effort itself, and its means to benefit schools in the Trenton Diocese, she said.

“We’re asking schools to promote it on their websites and will have a leaderboard of donations coming in [posted online on the diocesan #GivingTuesday page,]” Prete continued, noting that the site will describe the importance of giving for Catholic education and links to individual schools. “We want to get students involved at the school level, sharing the information with their families.” Promotional materials include stickers and pencils for students, with a question that prompts family discussions.

There are three ways Catholic school supporters can be involved for #GivingTuesday once they go online: make a secure monetary contribution, agree to become a volunteer or offer to say a prayer. One-hundred percent of funds will go to the school of a donor’s choice, and there are opportunities for employer matching gifts as well.

The #GivingTuesday campaign is the time to spread awareness, Prete explained, but “we will take volunteers, donations and prayers any time [of year].”