On November 11th, Wednesday of this week, Americans will come together to celebrate Veterans Day. For some, observing the day may involve attending a parade, ceremony, concert or other tribute. For others it may take on deeper meaning of thanks and reflection.
But for most Americans, Veterans Day doesn’t involve much celebrating. It often passes relatively unnoticed, but for the patriotic images that flow through our social networks, and the usual odd flurry of mattress sales and auto-dealer adverts. The sad truth is, Veterans Day gets overlooked.
Yet Veterans Day is important. Distinct from Memorial Day – Veterans Day is our opportunity to honor all veterans, both living and fallen, and to celebrate their patriotism, duty, and shared sacrifice. It is an annual reminder of our obligation to make good on our promises to them.
Earlier this year, my team at Razoo was presented with an exciting challenge: if we were to launch a new Giving Event – whether imagined as a national movement like #GivingTuesday, or a regional event like one of the hundreds of giving days we host for leading nonprofits and community foundations year-round – what would that event be, and whom would it benefit? It was an opportunity to start something new for a cause we believe in, and as a pro bono initiative to which we would proudly commit our time.
The result of that challenge is #DayForTheBrave, the first 24-hour day of giving that exclusively benefits veterans, servicemembers, and their families, taking place on this Veterans Day at dayforthebrave.org.
In its inaugural year, more than 200 veterans service organizations (all verified with GuideStar Charity Check, of course!) have joined this effort. They focus on a range of issues – from big challenges like veteran homelessness, mental health, job training and placement, to small yet meaningful efforts like canine companionship, songwriting, even dancing – diverse missions united by one common goal: their unwavering commitment to serve our nation’s veterans.
Our call to action for everyone this Veterans Day is to visit DayForTheBrave.org, pledge to learn about these amazing organizations, and donate to the cause. Our greater aim is for Veterans Day to be more than just a day of giving thanks – it should become a day for giving back.
Individuals and organizations can help this effort by joining our #DayForTheBrave Thunderclap to announce and spread news of the event, discover and donate to these 200 worthy nonprofits, and use the hashtag #DayForTheBrave to contribute social support throughout the day.
We’ve gathered a prize pool of more than $32,000 through the generosity of our own Razoo Foundation and the Home Depot Foundation. These prize pools play a major role in the gamification and overall success of any giving day, by incentivizing and encouraging nonprofits and donors alike, so we’re excited to see how it drives engagement on #DayForTheBrave. Also in keeping with our commitment to this effort as a pro brono event, Razoo has waived all its platform fees for #DayForTheBrave, so that only the credit card processor fees apply. This is the first time in our company’s history that we’ve been able to do this, and we’re excited to share that fact.
For our team, this project has been a humbling experience learning about these organizations and the breadth of their work. It has offered us a renewed respect for our veterans, the challenges they face, and for the organizations that serve them so honorably. And it is with this shared sense of appreciation that we hope to build #DayForTheBrave into a movement that endures.
The preceding is a guest post by Ned Baker, the Director of Engagement and Community Development at Razoo, a crowdfunding platform that allows individuals and nonprofits to lift the world through everyday philanthropy. Since 2006, organizations have used Razoo to raise more than $450 million dollars for their causes. Ned lives in Washington, DC and has specialized in nonprofit marketing for the past six years. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in communication rhetoric and economics, and formerly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia. Follow him on Twitter @nedatsea.