After busy Thanksgiving get-togethers and frantic Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping, many people take a moment to reflect and give back to a cause that captures their passion.

Dubbed Giving Tuesday, it’s a day dedicated to philanthropy and fundraising. For the first time ever, the Oncology Nursing Foundation issued a Giving Tuesday challenge to ONS chapters—a friendly competition to see which group could get the highest percentage of its membership to donate to the continued growth and excellence of oncology nursing. When all was said and done, 30 ONS chapters helped raise more than $19,000 to support the education, research, and leadership development of oncology nurses everywhere.

“Giving Tuesday is one of those days where people are excited and inspired to give back to organizations and causes that are special to them,” Linda Worrall, RN, MSN, Foundation director of grants and programs, said. “We know how special oncology nurses are, so we issued a chapter challenge. We invited any ONS chapter that was interested in participating to join in a friendly competition. The goal was to see which chapter could get the highest percentage of their members to donate. All were welcome to contribute, and it was just about having fun with some holiday spirit.”

As nurses are known do, they answered the call for their profession and set out to champion fundraising efforts for their chapters. Some members created Facebook donation campaigns, expanding the call to their friends, family members, and colleagues. Other chapters hosted holiday parties and encouraged members to join in the giving. As the only philanthropic organization 100% focused on oncology nursing, the Foundation’s donations will help provide scholarships, research grants, awards, and leadership opportunities to a new generation of nurses.

For ONS member Marsena Pelton, MSN, BSN, RN, OCN®, oncology nurse educator at Boehringer Ingelheim and president-elect of the Greater Pittsburgh ONS Chapter, the challenge was a way to return the favor for the Foundation’s continued support for professional development.   

“When we heard about the challenge, we couldn’t wait to join. We all remember the generous educational grants that had been awarded to our local chapter through the Foundation,” Pelton said. “One grant provided us with the opportunity to collaborate with other specialty nursing organizations in the Pittsburgh community to explore common issues and concerns about caring for people with cancer and their families. Other grants have provided us with the ability to offer additional programs for three consecutive years at a local all-day educational event sponsored by our chapter. We were delighted to have the opportunity to give back to our fellow oncology nurses by participating in the Giving Tuesday Challenge.”

For a week leading up to Giving Tuesday, the Foundation provided chapters with information to encourage donations. When the day arrived, many chapters were prepared and ready to go with their own plans for collecting donations. Some chapters even agreed to match member donations from their budget, providing even more incentive to an already passionate group of oncology nurse donors. What started as an inaugural Giving Tuesday challenge quickly evolved into a successful fundraising campaign, led by the spirit and generosity of oncology nurses from across the country.

“As oncology nurses, we acknowledge and appreciate the vital role that nursing education, leadership development, and research has played—and continues to play—in our own careers,” Pelton said. “Our passion to see other oncology nurses grow in their profession and experience these same opportunities not only today but in years to come inspired us to join the challenge and donate to this worthy cause."

Although Giving Tuesday is over, the Foundation supports oncology nurses all year round. Consider giving back to the profession, nursing-led research, and continued educational initiatives by donating to the Foundation this year. Learn more at