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Our #GivingTuesday 2014 Story

GivingTuesday.org is gathering stories about #GivingTuesday 2014 experiences, so we thought we'd share ours!

For the second year in a row, we decided to fundraise on behalf of our innovative new teen program, STAMP: The Virginia and Harvey Kimmel Teen Program. STAMP stands for "Students at Museums in Philly" (a name chosen by our Teen Council), and now offers free admission to 15 city museums for Philly residents ages 14-19.

Last year, we asked donors to consider sponsoring a pass for a teen ($10 -> 1 teen 1 pass 12 museums). This year, our goal was to go even further for the 12,000+ teens who have signed up for the pass since STAMP's October 2013 launch: We called on donors to sponsor teen participation in the types of activities that will further engage Philly students in STAMP programming and other arts and culture opportunities, like Teen Council meetings and our Spring 2015 STAMP on the Parkway event.

Our invitation to supporters was: "Invest in Philly teens. Invest in STAMP." We chose this call to action because we believe that with STAMP, the pass is just the beginning.  Through STAMP, teens not only have access to 15 of the best museums and attractions in Philadelphia, but also cultural happenings throughout the year, and information on internships and community service opportunities. We’ve watched for over a year now as thousands of teens have used STAMP to develop their passions and get involved in their neighborhoods, and we invited everyone in Philadelphia to help support these amazing kids.

At a time when the Philadelphia School District is in crisis and art, music and afterschool programs have been eliminated, programs like STAMP are more necessary than ever. STAMP gives teens the opportunity to experience arts and culture first-hand and explore their full potential. The program has also been extremely successful in reaching youth from Philadelphia neighborhoods with very low cultural participation, with over 75% coming from neighborhoods with little to no access to museum experiences. Furthermore, 58% of STAMP Passholders are African American or Latino, and 47% come from economically-disadvantaged households.

When #GivingTuesday 2014 was through, we were pleased to see that our message had reached far and wide to touch the hearts of generous Philadelphians. Through individual donations, prize money from Razoo, and our generous matching grants from Joanne Harmelin and a donor advised fund from The Philadelphia Foundation, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $15,000 for this year, with a final total of $15,846.

We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Philadelphians and the creative sector, and we can't wait to see the impact we can have with all of this #GivingTuesday support!

For more information about STAMP, visit www.phillySTAMPpass.org. To learn more about the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the region’s leading arts and cultural advocacy, research and marketing organization, check out www.philaculture.org.