GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement encouraging people and organizations to consider charitable donations as a part of their annual spending around the winter holidays.
Following major shopping holidays “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving is now dedicated to donating for the greater good after the idea originated as a charity drive for the non-profit Mary-Arrchie Theater Company in Chicago in 2011.
In 2020, GivingTuesday saw an estimated $2.47 billion donated to U.S. nonprofits by a reported $34.8 million people.
For this year’s GivingTuesday, we’re presenting some swimming-themed charities for you to consider.
Have other organizations worthy of donations? Leave them in the comments and state your case.
1. MICHAEL PHELPS FOUNDATION
Launched by the most decorated Olympian in history after his record performance at the 2008 Olympic Games, the Michael Phelps Foundation has provided swim lessons for more than 50,000 and reached over 100,000 with his comprehensive ‘IM’ program, focusing on water safety. Other missions of the organization include the Level Field Fund, supporting the mission of professional swimmers. In the last few years, Phelps has added a mental health component to the foundation’s mission
SwemKids is a nonprofit school-based program based out of Atlanta that teaches children introductory swimming lessons and water safety skills as a part of their school’s curriculum—from elementary to high school students. With a mission to eliminate all barriers that keep communities with the highest drowning rates from having a healthy relationship with water, SwemKids’ curriculum-based model ensures that children are exposed to the water early. In addition to a direct donation, you can also sponsor a student or a full class of swimmers with an introductory gift that provides students with swimsuits, goggles, swim bags and other equipment.
3. JESSIE REES FOUNDATION (NEGU)
The Jesse Reese Foundation was founded in the honor of Jessie Rees, a 12-year old swimmer who lost her battle with cancer in 2012. During a 10-month battle with cancer, she helped other kids fighting cancer who couldn’t leave the hospital via the creation of JoyJars, and the organization continues to operate on the belief that every kid fighting cancer deserves to smile and be encouraged to “Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU).
4. USA SWIMMING FOUNDATION
The USA Swimming Foundation was established in 2004 and serves to help support free or low-priced swim lessons to reduce drowning rates in America, along with supporting professional swimmers in their quest for international success. The foundation now includes the adult learn-to-swim foundation previously under the U.S. Masters Swimming umbrella, with the two joining forces in January 2021. The foundation awarded over $500K worth of grants in 2021 to help provide free or reduced-cost swim lessons to an estimated 13,800 children.
5. BLACK SWIMMING ASSOCIATION
The UK-based Black Swimming Association was founded by a group of individuals of diverse backgrounds, including international swimmer Alice Dearing, music producer Ed Accura, broadcast journalist and former college swimmer Seren Jones, and businesswoman and inventer Danielle Obe. The mission is simple: diversify aquatics at every level, from recreational to the Olympics, by addressing the systemic barriers to participation for the Black community.
6. SWIM ACROSS AMERICA
Swim Across America is a full-on cancer organization that funnels money directly to cancer research, clinical trials and patient programs by hosting charity swims. The organization requires that 100% of grants be applied to approved projects and not ancillary costs like overhead or building costs. In 2021, the organization introduced SAA My Way, a virtual challenge you can create your own event and select which charity you’d like to support. Over 100 Olympians have attended Swim Across America events.
7. FRAN CRIPPEN ELEVATION FOUNDATION
2021 marks the 11-year anniversary of the day where elite international American open water swimmer Fran Crippen died at a race in Fujairah, UAE during a 10 kilometer open water race. The Foundation, started by his family, has a goal of keeping alive Fran’s legacy. The organization has two tangible missions in the sport of swimming: improving access to swim lessons and decrease risks of drowning, and awarding grants to one elite athlete each year training for the Olympics. The Crippen family have also been vocal proponents for improving the safety of open water races from amateur to elite levels, which has resulted in an almost-unrecognizable shift in the safety elements of these swims.
8. TAMPA BAY FROGMAN SWIM
The Tampa Bay Frogman Swim has a goal of building national awareness of the Naval Special Warfare community and supporting the Navy SEAL Foundation, which has a mission to provide “immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families.” With the organization having reserved expectations due to COVID, the event hit a new fundraising record of $792K in 2021 despite a reduced field of 135 swimmers. The 2022 swim is scheduled for January 16.