BRUNSWICK — Today is Giving Tuesday, an annual global event that encourages people to give back by supporting nonprofits and charities.

“As people are opening up their wallets to spend money for gifts for their friends and families, we want to also encourage people to remember to give back to the nonprofits that are important parts of their communities,” said Jennifer Burns Gray, director of advocacy and public relations for the Maine Association of Nonprofits.

According to Gray, there are 6,800 nonprofits in Maine.

“One in six Maine workers works for a nonprofit. We contribute over $11 billion to the economy,” said Gray. “We are a big economic driver all over the state.”

Gray added that in a report that her organization publishes next year, that number will have increased to $12 billion.

According to the Maine Association of Nonprofits, Mainers donate about $756 per year to charity on average. That’s below the national and New England averages, and Gray said that they expect that number to be even lower this year. That’s because federal tax changes made last year increased the standard deduction, disincentivizing itemized deductions that taxpayers use to write off charitable donations.

“As a result of the federal tax policy changes last year, we’re expecting that charitable giving will actually decrease,” said Gray. “So our nonprofits need financial support even more, so we’re encouraging people to participate in Giving Tuesday.”

Giving Tuesday is always the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, a response to retail events like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. While less well-known than those events, Giving Tuesday has only grown since it was launched in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City. According to the organization that promotes the event, more than $300 million was raised online by organizations spanning 150 countries last year as part of Giving Tuesday.

“We are incredibly inspired by the way the Giving Tuesday community has embraced this concept for a worldwide movement,” said Henry Timms, founder of Giving Tuesday, in a press release. “As we prepare for Nov. 27, we’re energized and encouraged by the community’s generosity. The levels of creativity, effort and the quality of the new ideas people have contributed and shared are phenomenal.”

Following is a list of the small businesses and nonprofits in the Midcoast who have stated that they are taking part in Giving Tuesday. Giving is not limited to participating groups, and donations do not have to be financial.

BRUNSWICK

another jennifer
Coastal Humane Society
College Guild
Curtis Memorial Library
Growing to Give (Center for a Green Future)
Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
Main Street Bath
Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association
Maine Initiatives
Maine Lost Dog Recovery
Maine State Music Theatre
Mid Coast Hospital
Midcoast Humane
Midcoast Senior College
Oasis Free Clinics
Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine
Volunteers of America Northern New England

BATH

Bath Area Family YMCA
Friends of Seguin Island Light Station
Maine Maritime Museum
Patten Free Library

TOPSHAM

Cathance River Education Alliance
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Maine Fiberarts
Topsham Public Library

FREEPORT

Freeport Community Services
Jill McGowan

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