By Elizabeth Murphy

Giving Tuesday is a global movement. It is a time for individuals to come together and be part of the solutions to some of today’s most pressing problems through charitable donations.

Director of Digital Transformation Ryan Davies

Director of Digital Transformation Ryan Davies

This year, Giving Tuesday takes place on Nov. 30. Members of the Carleton University community—from faculty and staff to alumni and community partners—will have the opportunity to make a positive change for future generations through Carleton-led initiatives.

Inspiring projects led by students and researchers will tackle important community and societal concerns, including prosperity; health and wellness; equity, diversity and inclusion; tech for good; and sustainability.

“Carleton has a unique philanthropic philosophy, in that we invite donors to give through Carleton rather than to Carleton—helping higher ed address issues that matter to the community,” said Ryan Davies, director of Digital Transformation with University Advancement.

“That principle rallies people together on Giving Tuesday. For 24 hours, people from around the world join together and help Carleton make a difference for the greater good.”

Carleton’s crowdfunding platform,, makes supporting a cause close to one’s heart a seamless experience. Monetary gifts delivered through FutureFunder to well-deserving projects will have the added benefit of being matched dollar-for-dollar by the university on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year, a total of 55 projects were available to be supported on FutureFunder. Through the generosity of the Carleton community, $1,194,651 was raised. After accounting for Carleton’s matching of donations, a total of $2.19 million was provided to important initiatives. This year, there are 59 projects listed on FutureFunder and open to support.

Recent FutureFunder campaigns

Recent FutureFunder campaigns

In addition to traditional fund matching, there will also be Giving Tuesday Challenges that will award further funding to charitable initiatives. Such challenges include awards for donating the first gift at midnight and noon, the gift made from the furthest distance from Carleton, sharing a FutureFunder cause while using #TogetherforGood and tagging FutureFunder on Twitter or Instagram, as well as multiple draws for funds to honour gifts made by different donor groups—such as young alumni or faculty, staff and retirees.

FutureFunder projects can help facilitate collaboration and create impacts outside of the immediate community. The Northern Community Skate Project will facilitate work between the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun, the Sprott School of Business, the School of Industrial Design, J.V. Clark School, and Inuit artist and skateboarder Parr Etidloie (Kinngait). These teams will undertake a multi-year social entrepreneurship project that will utilize skateboard culture to create learning opportunities for high school students in Mayo, Yukon. The result will be a viable entrepreneurial business run by community youth.

Projects can also have positive impacts on Carleton’s student community. The Wellness Fund is dedicated to supporting an inclusive, holistic approach to mental health and wellness by funding peer-led initiatives of the Student Mental Health Engagement Committee, as well as initiatives focusing on health promotion, harm reduction, and spirituality—all of which form important components of Carleton Wellness.

Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community

Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community

One of the community-driven projects on FutureFunder this year is the Baobab Collaborative Arts Fund. Growing from the legacy of the former Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community, this initiative will support projects that expand the experiential study of cultural disciplines from Africa and the African diaspora for students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The fund will help support bringing artists and individuals with cultural expertise to Carleton as they share their knowledge and perspectives with the community.

A community partnership returning to FutureFunder for the second year is the MPNL Award for Black Emerging Fundraising Professionals. The project, led by the Black Canadian Fundraisers’ Collective, was able to provide four awards last year to Black students enrolled in Carleton’s Master of Philanthropy and Non-profit Leadership program. This year, through the continuing support of the community and the Black Canadian Fundraisers’ Collective, the project aims to build on that success as it works to amplify the voices of emerging Black professionals as they pursue a career in fundraising and increase the financial support available to students.

Members of the VARS (Versatile Assistive Roaming Device) 4th Year Capstone Project team

Members of the VARS (Versatile Assistive Roaming Device) 4th Year Capstone Project team

FutureFunder initiatives can also support community-focused solutions developed in the classroom. The Versatile Assistive Roaming Device (VARS), being developed by a fourth-year Faculty of Engineering capstone project, aims to increase accessibility for those with mobility concerns. While Food Science and Biology students involved in the Sustainable Food Production project will research the design and implement community-scale food systems that would allow for sustainable food production on campus.

“At the end of the day, this is about people inspiring people,” said Davies.

“From local initiatives to community engagement projects around the globe, Carleton students and community members inspire supporters. And through crowdfunding and Giving Tuesday, those supporters try to inspire others to lend a hand. It’s a really powerful model and it makes for an exciting day.”

Giving Tuesday kicks off at midnight on Nov. 30.

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