By Candace Higginbotham
Giving Tuesday began as an idea to rally people together to do good for others on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving – following the big “shopping holidays” of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
And it’s clearly taken hold. 2022 was a record year for Giving Tuesday contributions globally, with $3.1 billion in giving last year – a 15% increase.
Full-time Regions associates and recent retirees can put their financial gifts to work – on Giving Tuesday or any other day – using the company’s Matching Gift program. This benefit doubles eligible donations to nonprofit organizations with a one-to-one monetary matching gift up to $1,000 per year.
The most impactful match was when I was approached by a school that I support to seed a matching grant for one of their speed fund-raising events.
Linda Lockwood, an Institutional Trust relationship consultant in St. Louis, has taken advantage of the matching gift program for several years. She has used the matching funds for organizations such as local museums, the public library, her granddaughter’s schools and the Missouri Botanical Garden. Lockwood enjoys being able to use the program to give to her favorite causes at a higher level.
“The most impactful match was when I was approached by a school that I support to seed a matching grant for one of their speed fund-raising events,” Lockwood said. “So, with my donation doubled through Regions, they used my combined dollars as a match to another donor, which made the impact of my giving four times greater.”
Organizations that qualify for the Regions Matching Gift program must have a primary mission that fits into one of the following categories:
- Economic and Community Development
- Education and Workforce Readiness
- Financial Wellness
- Arts and Culture
- Service Members and Veterans
- Individuals with Disabilities
“Our associates are extremely generous – with their time and their philanthropy,” said Gina Sian, Regions Community Affairs Execution and Operations manager. “Their generosity is making life better for our local communities year-round, and Giving Tuesday is a great reminder of the Matching Gifts program that Regions offers us to make the most of our contributions.”
Community service to me means giving back because you are blessed with the means to do it.
According to Durnita Cooperwood, a contact center manager based in Memphis, Tennessee, the Matching Gifts program allows her to put her personal convictions into action. “Community service to me means giving back because you are blessed with the means to do it,” Cooperwood said.
“With the Regions Matching Gift program, I am making a bigger impact on someone else’s life outside of my family and friends,” she continued. “I know the appreciation and the support goes a long way and it makes me feel I am not just talking about my passion, but I am doing something about it.”
Both Cooperwood and Lockwood recommend the program to all Regions associates. “If you are passionate about an organization, why wouldn’t you want to double the impact?” Lockwood says. “It is a really easy process.”