A holiday WISH is coming true for these 36 Cleveland nonprofits

Forget Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals—for Pam Turos, Giving Tuesday is the most wonderful time of the year.

As the founder of Good Cause Creative and WISH Cleveland, Turos is particularly attuned to the needs of local nonprofits, and now she’s helping put them in the spotlight with an innovative Giving Tuesday campaign. Thirty-six Cleveland-based nonprofits will equally split the proceeds from a citywide fundraising movement—and keep the spirit of Giving Tuesday close to home.

“It’s an equitable giving movement intended for organizations that would have a hard time doing a campaign on their own,” says Turos. “A lot of people feel like there is nothing they can do with everything going wrong in the city, and we wanted to create a way to have serious impact. This is an opportunity for the whole city to say, ‘This is what matters to us,’ and [benefit] issues and organizations that deserve your attention and resources.”

Designed to be collaborative rather than competitive, WISH Cleveland’s Giving Tuesday campaign also enables nonprofits to work together on fundraising rather than jockeying for precious inbox space. “Together everyone gets uplifted,” says Turos, who is a former social worker.

To select the 36 nonprofits, the WISH Cleveland team worked alongside Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to identify core issues affecting the city's communities—such as racial equity, poverty, and homelessness—and the nonprofits making a difference in those areas. Nonprofits also had to be based in the City of Cleveland proper, which helped whittle down the original list of over 50 applicants. (See the full list of nonprofits here.)

Turos also designed the campaign to create more awareness around the concept in general, as “a lot of people in Cleveland still don’t understand what Giving Tuesday is.” By promoting Giving Tuesday, Turos hopes to help restore the true spirit of the season.

“A lot of parents are really overwhelmed with the consumerism of Christmas,” explains Turos. “The stores start filling up with Christmas stuff on Halloween—what are we teaching our kids? Let’s backtrack and think about what the holidays are really about.”

To celebrate the culmination of the campaign, WISH Cleveland is hosting an event at Red Space tomorrow evening, November 27, as part of Giving Tuesday. Planned by Vivid Vibes, the event will feature food and drink from Thai Fun, Barrio, Annie’s Signature Sweets, and Solstice Coffee, a live auction, drum circle led by Mama Fasi, and the announcement of the final fundraising total. Admission is $10, and more information can be found here.

For those can’t make the event, Turos encourages them to donate online to the cause—or any cause, really. “Even if you don’t give to us, join the movement,” says Turos. “If there is a nonprofit you care about, share their mission on Giving Tuesday and elevate their message. When one nonprofit succeeds, the whole community is better for it.”

To donate or learn more about WISH Cleveland's #GivingTuesdayCLE campaign, click here.

Jen Jones Donatelli
Jen Jones Donatelli

About the Author: Jen Jones Donatelli

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast.

When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes through her small business Creative Groove, as well as Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.