As the holiday giving season arrives, officials with Dubuque nonprofit organizations expect to see a jump in charitable contributions.

But some also hope an international philanthropic holiday amplifies the annual trend.

Giving Tuesday reminds the bustling holiday shopper to consider those in need after the Thanksgiving consumer rush concludes.


“There is also this element of those (for whom) the holidays aren’t that enjoyable or are actually a time of some suffering, some sorrow and aloneness,” said Rick Mihm, executive director of Dubuque Rescue Mission.

The organization offers public meal programs and temporary housing for people in need and receives most holiday donations through mail. But in recent years, it has seen a slight uptick in online contributions on Giving Tuesday.

The event, founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, follows on the coattails of the year’s biggest shopping holidays — Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.


The United Way of Dubuque Area Tri-States has promoted Giving Tuesday for two years.

Danielle Peterson, the organization’s president and CEO, said the occasion provides nonprofit organizations with a spotlight under which to share their missions.

Racquel McClellan, donor relations coordinator at the Dubuque Dream Center, intends to promote the center’s philanthropic work across social media on Giving Tuesday.

“We receive our highest percentage of donations throughout the year during this time of year,” she said.

The center provides youth with activities and after-school programming focused on academics, careers and goal setting.


Giving Tuesday has perhaps been a victim of its own success.

Mike Miller, president and CEO of River Bend Foodbank, said the organization appreciates the new tradition but said it has become oversaturated with competition.

“We try not to get lost in that noise,” he said.

The nonprofit organization oversees a branch location in Dubuque at St. Stephen’s Food Bank.

While contributions during the holiday season sustain operations, Miller hopes to enlist donors to contribute year-round.

“People are just as hungry in April and August as they are in November or December,” he said.