If November sparks gratitude and December is devoted to giving, now is a perfect time to acknowledge the good while renewing the spirit of fellowship and community. In response, team members at the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating economic and workforce development through dynamic support of emerging bioscience and technology start-ups, decided to take things a step farther.
CEO Kathie Callahan Brady says, “We started in 2004 as a public-private partnership and are fortunate to have a wide network of passionate, enthusiastic supporters. They give their time, knowledge and whole hearts to helping fellow entrepreneurs, those who are at the very beginning of their journey, get the resources needed to pursue their dreams. FITCI wouldn’t exist without dedicated volunteers and community support, especially our partners in Frederick County and the City of Frederick. So, the FITCI team decided to do something extra, inspired by the buoyant spirit of generosity promoted as GivingTuesday. We started by calling it Giving BACK Tuesday, but we are taking it through the end of the year. So, it’s the season of Giving BACK.”
FITCI’s initiative challenges staff, member companies, board members and other stakeholders to make volunteering a part of their celebrations. The FITCI team will choose a local charity to support as a group.
GivingTuesday, typically celebrated the week after Thanksgiving, is an annual global movement which was created in 2012 to unleash “the power of radical generosity around the world.” It extends the spirit of gratitude surrounding Thanksgiving as the frantic consumerism of the winter holiday season takes hold.
“We are in a unique position as a nonprofit. We are an economic development engine for Frederick, but we still rely on donations and fundraising,” says Callahan Brady. “Our volunteers, often high-level CEOs who serve as mentors or on our clients’ Strategic Growth and Advisory Board, the value of the time they contribute could easily top $200,000 per year. But it’s priceless to us. This is a small way to repay that gift and keep the ripple reaching further.”