Thank goodness we’ve all survived Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, (what, nothing for Sunday?), and Cyber Monday. Today, as you may or may not know, is Giving Tuesday.
Since its launch in 2012, Giving Tuesday has been designated as a day when we can make up for the excesses of the past few days (and those coming up) by putting “our money where our hearts are.” It focuses on shifting the emphasis of the holiday season from receiving gifts to giving them to charity. In just a few years, Giving Tuesday has turned into a global movement which unites communities around the world. Last year, more than 700,000 people across 70 countries raised more than $116 million, more than double from the year before.
Although Giving Tuesday is about encouraging giving in general, the movement harnesses the power of social media (it even has its own hashtag, #GivingTuesday), to provide a platform for those interested in donating time, resources, and talent to address local challenges. Givers are encouraged to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to share their efforts and spread the word about the day on their social media accounts.
The Giving Tuesday website provides more information about the movement and a directory to guide people to organizations, charities, events, and more in their own community. Through the website, Giving Tuesday “brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.”
Whether you go through the website or give on your own, there are lots of ways to join in on this day of giving:
Donate to charity. If you have some extra money in your budget, make a donation to a charity of your choice. Or, think about rearranging your budget a bit: instead of buying that one extra Christmas present, devote those funds to a wider cause. You can stay local by giving to your community’s homeless shelter or food bank, or go national by contributing to well-known organizations, such as the American Diabetes Assn. or the Red Cross. (Be sure to check if your employer offers matching funds.)
Give a nonmonetary gift. If you don’t have room in your budget, you can give in other ways. Donate your time by volunteering at a nearby animal shelter or food kitchen. Sign up to become an organ donor. Give blood. The possibilities for good deeds are endless.
Go beyond charities. Remember that giving doesn’t have to be limited to charitable organizations. Give extra care and attention to your friends, family members and neighbors. Spend time reading to a younger relative. Volunteer to finish off a project around the house.
Most important of all, let this day of philanthropy inspire more days of giving back.
I am so grateful for individuals and organizations that offer support to those who are struggling or who need resources to serve others. Giving Tuesday is a great way to find opportunities to give locally and/or globally. And, once you’ve given whatever money, time or talent you can, don’t forget to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag and help spread the word!