Some Thoughts on #GivingTuesday


By Leslie Dinaberg, Managing Editor

Tuesday, November 28 is designated as #GivingTuesday, when those who are able are urged to make donations to support local nonprofits. Now entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving—as a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday buying—that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy and is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

Here’s something to consider when you make those donations: not only is art good for the soul, it’s good for the wallet.

Did you know that Santa Barbara County’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations comprise a $200 million industry? According to a recent national study—Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, conducted by Americans for the Arts—which collected data from 250 regional partners, including Santa Barbara County, this number supports the equivalent of 5,857 local jobs and generates approximately generates $20 million in local and state tax revenue.

As Randy Cohen, Vice President of Americans for the Arts stated, in a recent presentation at the Santa Barbara County Arts Symposium, “When you invest in the arts you are not investing in a frill, you are investing in a healthier Santa Barbara.”

“Art is not the cherry on top of the split, it’s one of the bananas,” said Keynote Speaker and Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu, sharing how the arts revitalized New Orleans post-Katrina.

According to the Americans for the Arts study section on Santa Barbara County:

  • Nonprofit arts and cultural event attendees spend an average of $28.25 per person (excluding the cost of admission).
  • Event-related spending by arts and cultural audiences totaled $72.3 million (excluding the cost of admission).

And if those numbers don’t grab you, there are some heartfelt stats that support the arts. According to another Americans for the Arts survey by Ipsos Public Affairs, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the arts improve the quality of our personal lives and our communities.

  • 63% believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences.”
  • 73% say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
  • 64% feel “pure pleasure to experience and participate in the arts.”
  • 67% percent believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity.”
  • 62% agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”

For more information about the Giving Tuesday initiative and to search participating nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area, visit

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on November 26, 2017.