Skip to content
All Leaders branches (including our call center) will be closed Saturday, May 25, and Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.
Online and mobile banking are available anytime, anywhere.
close

Giving Tuesday: How United Way Empowers Nonprofits in West Tennessee

giving tuesday

Episode 21: Pocket Change Podcast

In this Pocket Change episode, Matt Marshall, the president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee, joined Shea and Maddie to talk about Giving Tuesday coming up at the end of November and how United Way helps our area non profits. He emphasizes the vital role of education as a foundation for community success, as it influences financial stability and health, and gave us many ways to be involved this giving season.

“We always say at United Way: you can give, you can advocate, you can volunteer. Some people are blessed to be able to give financially. Others, they can give of their time, they can volunteer and others can use their voice to advocate for those in need. There's always a role for everyone to play,” Matt Marshall said.

Summary

Matt shares his background and connection to the community and explains the United Way's focus on health, education, and financial stability. He emphasizes the importance of education as a foundation for community well-being and discusses the ALICE report, which highlights that about 45% of Jacksonians are either ALICE - they're working poor - or they actually are under the federal poverty threshold. United Way of West Tennessee strives to support non profits so that they can strengthen our community.

Matt shares with us that Giving Tuesday is the day after Thanksgiving and is an initiative that encourages people to give back, whether by giving financial or by volunteering time, to people in need. The local initiative, Giving Tuesday 731, encourages charitable giving and support for nonprofits in the region.

 


Key Takeaways

  • United Way of West Tennessee focuses on health, education, and financial stability as the pillars of their mission.

  • Education is considered the foundation for community well-being, as it directly impacts financial stability and overall health.

  • Giving Tuesday is a global movement aimed at encouraging charitable giving, and Giving Tuesday 731 is the local initiative in West Tennessee.

  • Giving Tuesday 731, which occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, motivates people to donate to their favorite nonprofit organizations.

  • Volunteers and advocates play essential roles in supporting nonprofits and community initiatives.

You can go to give731.org to find out all the ways you can be involved this year. To support United Way of West Tennessee, visit their website.



 

Listen and Follow

Listen-On-Apple-Blue-300    listen-on-spotify-Blue

 


 

Full Transcript

Shea:

Hey, this is Shea.

 

Maddie:

And this is Maddie.

 

Shea:

Welcome to the Pocket Change podcast.

 

Maddie:

Where you'll learn better ways to spend, save, and invest and take control of your financial journey.

 

Shea:

So Maddie, Giving Tuesday is coming up this month. It's a national, grassroots effort where nonprofits can come together and fundraise. And so we're excited to learn more about that and how one local organization helps nonprofits come together for this purpose too.

 

Maddie:

Yeah, so United Way, we have one here in West Tennessee, and they help a lot of different nonprofits with volunteering or raising money financially. And so today we get to talk to their president, and I'm really excited just to hear about what United Way’s doing for our local community here in West Tennessee.

 

Shea:

And how we can all get involved.

 

Maddie:

So we're excited to welcome our guest, Matt Marshall, onto the podcast today. He's the president and CEO of United Way of West Tennessee. Welcome to Pocket Change, Matt.

 

Matt Marshall:

Oh, thanks so much Maddie. It's really great to be on with you guys today and excited to have the conversation.

 

Maddie:

So first, just tell us a little bit about yourself and then just about how you got to United Way here in West Tennessee.

 

Matt Marshall:

I am a fifth generation Jacksonian and seventh generation West Tennessean. So my family's been in this community for a long time. Started out my career working education, special needs classroom in the public school system. Then I worked at Union for eight years at my alma mater, and then after working at Union, I ran Hands Up Preschool for two and a half years.

So I kind of got back into education and, you know, Hands Up was a partner agency of United Way. And so one thing led to another, and I've now been here at United Way four years back on October 1st.

 

Shea:

So you've been involved in education for many years, and I think that's really a big pillar of the United Way of West Tennessee. So tell us more about what you love about the United Way and its mission, especially for this region.

 

Matt Marshall:

The United Way does work and, you know, we focus on three primary areas: health, education, and financial stability and so...

 

Shea:

You said health, education, financial stability?

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. You know, I always kind of tell people like obviously I'm biased towards education, but I also think that it is the foundation for everything else that we do. So I tell people all the time when it comes to those other two pillars of financial stability and health, well, if you want a financially stable community, you want an educated community.

 

If you want a healthy community, you want an educated community. And so, you know, again, I'm biased, but I think that there's a reason for that because, again, historically, if we look at, you know, what really, truly strengthens a community, it very often is its education system. And so for that reason, that's an area, you know, from United Way's mission side that we've really invested in over the last several years and we want to continue to invest in.

 

And I think the other part of that is as well, that that's where we saw gaps, not, you know, just here in Jackson where we were filming this, but all across West Tennessee and where partnerships, like with Leaders, has been so important. That's where we see ourselves continuing to pour into, you know, hopefully for the betterment of kids in our community.

 

Maddie:

And we know that Giving Tuesday is coming up this month at the end of November. So can you tell us a little bit more about that and just how United Way is involved in Giving Tuesday and maybe how our listeners can be involved too?

 

Matt Marshall:

So Giving Tuesday is an international movement and so Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

 

Shea:

That's November 28th.

 

Matt Marshall:

That’s right. It’s November 28th this year. And it does fluctuate a little bit every year. But you have Black Friday, then you have Cyber Monday and then you have Giving Tuesday and the kind of idea behind that is, you know, as people are going out and they're shopping and buying all these things, getting ready for Christmas.

 

We also we want them to remember that there are people in our community in need. And so how can we also encourage giving during the season as well? Several years ago, we partnered with Alison Shipp. So, this is back in 2020, she had started Give Back Jack back in 2017, which was kind of service project oriented and had grown out of Leadership Jackson.

 

And so we partnered with her, you know, in the middle of the pandemic when a lot of our nonprofit partners were unable to do in-person fundraisers, which is kind of the lifeline of their support. And so we launched Giving Tuesday 731. And so the whole idea was to kind of motivate people across West Tennessee to give to their favorite nonprofit organization and to support their work.

 

And so this will be our fifth Giving Tuesday, technically. And across that period of time, we've raised over $441,000 across about 96 giving hours. And so we want people to come out on the 28th of November, electronically come out.

 

Shea:

You want them to bring out their wallets.

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. That's right. Pull out their mobile devices, you know, their laptops, tablets, whatever. Log on to give731.org and to give to their favorite, you know, nonprofit. And we want this to be the biggest giving day that we've ever had. And so we're hoping that several people will come out and do that.

 

Shea:

We can definitely surpass the half a million mark this year.

 

Matt Marshall:

Absolutely.

 

Shea:

And so Giving Tuesday - national, big grassroots effort. But why is it so important to have this local Give 731 Day?

 

Matt Marshall:

Yeah, because I think, you know, at the end of the day, we want to see West Tennesseans raised up. You know, we want to see them empowered. There are so many needs across our community. So every couple of years, United Way comes out with our ALICE report, and ALICE is an acronym that stands for Asset Limited. Income Constrained. Employed.

 

It's just another way of saying what we used to say: working poor. And so you know what we found through those reports is that's almost half of the population of West Tennessee.

 

Shea:

Not just Jackson, but all the surrounding counties.

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. And Jackson's included in that. Yeah, Jackson's included in that. About 45% of Jacksonians are either ALICE - they're working poor - or they actually are under the federal poverty threshold. But when you get outside of Jackson into some of the other communities, you see those same numbers reflected. So, you know, it's very helpful, I think, to be reminded that that's almost every other person you meet.

 

And so what can we do as a community to support those in need? And I think a big part of that is supporting our nonprofits. But that's also, you know, beyond giving also looks like volunteer work and other things as well. And so, you know, that's our hope for Giving Tuesday that you would see people invest back into this community of which they value so much.

 

Shea:

Right. And I think that's really what we want to be a part of this podcast is how we can give back to our community in ways that support others and bring others up. So Giving Tuesday 731 is a great way to do that.

 

Maddie:

So how can people get involved in Giving Tuesday?

 

Matt Marshall:

So on November 28th, you know, we want people to get up bright and early and again log on to give731.org. Part of what's going to be happening that day is that we're going to have different prize hours. And so over the course of the day, during different periods, the organization or nonprofit agency that either raises the most in an hour or has the most individual donations in that hour will get a cash incentive on top of whatever they raise.

 

And so normally that's anywhere from $500 to $1000. And so what that means is, is that we can incentivize giving during that hour to try to get more people to give towards that organization.

 

Shea:

And everyone loves a little competition.

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. It’s healthy competition. And each organization is incentivized to do that. So it's not just one organization. It is all the organizations that are participating. And so we invite them to be a part of that. And then there's also some end of the day prizes as well. One thing that's going to be a little different this year is that we're going to also incentivize the donors in a new way. Where we're going to have a handful of prizes for them that they could potentially win just for donating.

 

Shea:

For a donor.

 

Matt Marshall:

Yeah. So we're going to change that up a little bit. But yeah, we want people to show up on that day virtually, again, and just give to their favorite organization to support, you know, the nonprofit work. So that's one way. The other thing that I think they could also get involved in is also like just volunteer work. They're going to be a number of organizations.

 

So Giving Tuesday is also the largest volunteer day of the year as well. And so they're going to be a number of agencies that are going to have some volunteer projects set up. And so people in the community can also get involved in those, which I think is also equally important.

 

Shea:

I think around the time it's the holiday time, people are hopefully thinking more about that, as we should all throughout the year. But ways to give back, I mean, people may be off during the week. Thanksgiving. There's lots of needs around that time. So think about volunteering your time during that time frame as well and all throughout the holidays and throughout the year.

 

Maddie:

And there's really something for everyone to get involved in. You know, if you can't give financially, you can still give of your time. And that's still the same giving and that's still the heart of what Giving Tuesday really is.

 

Matt Marshall:

100%. We always say at United Way: you can give, you can advocate, you can volunteer. Some people are blessed to be able to give financially. Others, again, as you mentioned, they can give of their time, they can volunteer and others can use their voice to advocate for those in need. And so there's always a role for everyone to play.

 

Shea:

A lot of that advocacy is sharing that information on Giving Tuesday about what nonprofits are participating and these fun prize hours and different things for the nonprofit. So we want to be sure to support that. And so for the nonprofits, tell us more about, you know, what organization can be involved or the deadlines nonprofits need for Give 731. So if any other nonprofits are listening during this time, like if they're not involved, get involved, register. What are those details?

 

Matt Marshall:

Yes. So, you know, all you have to do to be able to participate is be available 501(c)(3) nonprofit. So you have to have your 501(c)(3) status. You also have to be clear through Charitable Solicitations for the state of Tennessee, through Secretary of State's office, which is more about accountability from the state side, not so much from us.

 

And then you have to have a bank account. Because you have to have a way to process those payments that are coming through the website. And so if they want to participate and they meet all three of those requirements, then they can reach out to us at United Way and we can help them get set up on the website through GiveGab, which is kind of our company that handles the software side of things.

 

Yeah, and that's the platform. And so that's really all they have to do. And so the deadline to be able to participate for this year in 2023 is November 10th. And so they have just a few short days, about a week or so to try to get in, but happy to have as many nonprofits as we can. Could be faith-based, could be, you know, some others...

 

Shea:

Educational...

 

Matt Marshall:

Educational or whatever it is. Like, you know, we want people to participate.

 

Shea:

Got those three things: 501(c)(3) status, Tennessee Charitable Solicitation status, and have a bank account. And if you don’t, come to Leaders Credit Union and you can make a nonprofit account.

 

Matt Marshall:

All you need is a little bit of pocket change.

 

Shea:

That's right. Just to get started.

 

Maddie:

There you go!

 

Shea:

And get a bit more on Giving Tuesday for your nonprofit hopefully. So those details again: give731.org. You can register online?

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. If you just go to give731.org, it'll actually have the registration link information on there. There's also a ton of other information available to you if you want to participate. There's a menu on there. You just click that and the dropdown menu will show, you know, training information and a toolkit and webinars, everything that you need to know to get started.

 

And of course, you can always reach out to us at United Way as well.

 

Shea:

So a one-stop-shop for the nonprofits. They've got their resources and the ability to go on and sign up for Give 731 Day.

 

Matt Marshall:

And one other cool thing about that web based platform is that, yes, we use it for Giving Tuesday, but say that you're a small organization, you don't have your own website or you don't have another way to take online donations. You can use that platform almost all year long to take donations any other time. It stays live. Now, that being said, for those prizes and those types of things, that only counts, you know, on Giving Tuesday.

 

But you can use that platform, you know, the rest of the year if you want to be able to take donations and to help serve your clients.

 

Shea:

So deadline, November 10th. Giving Tuesday is on November 28th. Tuesday after Thanksgiving. And all the information at give731.org.

 

Maddie:

Our last question for you today, Matt, and it's a really fun one, but if you had any extra change in your pocket, what would you do with it?

 

Matt Marshall:

Oh, that's a great question. To be honest, you know, I've kind of spoken a little bit about, you know, the education stuff. And, you know, I'm not saying this just because I work at United Way, but I really would invest it back in several of the literacy type projects that we're doing at United Way right now. The WOW Wagon, which we partner with you guys with Education Foundation from your Leaders on, you know, we take that trailer you know to all these different events across West Tennessee and give out free books, you know and you know people would be shocked at how many homes don't have adequate number of books for their kids to read. And so I definitely think that's one of them. Our READ Team and Tutor U programs, they're going into the school system. And again, helping kids with their literacy. Again, I mentioned at the very beginning I'm biased, but I feel very strongly that academic success is the pathway for community success down the road. And so we need to make sure that we're prepping our children and that we're helping them gain all the skills and tools that they need to be successful long term in life.

 

And that often starts with literacy. And so, yeah, that's where I would invest that little bit of change that I have.

 

Shea:

Well, what we're going to say for this episode is anyone who's listening. If they've got an extra pocket change, they're going to save it for Give 731 Day and we're going to contribute to our area nonprofits. All our listeners, if you're listening to this, if it's before Giving Tuesday, after Giving Tuesday, whenever it is, we're going to support our local nonprofits and make a difference in our community.

 

Matt Marshall:

That's right. And so again, I'd say really quickly, you know, there are so many incredible nonprofits across West Tennessee that are doing phenomenal things and very often serving people in some of their most challenging moments. Not everyone is passionate about the same type of nonprofit work. And that's okay. That's actually a good thing, because that means that there are a number of different things that, in my opinion, that the Lord has really blessed us to, in our own experiences in life and our own personal desires, where we want to invest.

 

And he's often given us the ability to do that. And so like I'm all for people finding that nonprofit, that's the best fit for them and investing, as you said earlier Maddie, you know, their resources, whether that be financial or whether that be their time or their voice. Support your favorite nonprofit and hopefully, again, make this the biggest Giving Tuesday Day ever.

 

Maddie:

Well, thank you so much, Matt. We've learned a lot today and hopefully, you know, our listeners and us can take all this amazing information and give back to our community. So thank you so much for being on Pocket Change today Matt.

 

Matt Marshall:

Absolutely. My pleasure.

 


 

Listen and Follow

Listen-On-Apple-Blue-300    listen-on-spotify-Blue