GratiTuesday: Giving Tuesday

This is a slightly updated reblog of last year’s post about Giving Tuesday. I hope you can participate in this global initiative.

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, participants from more than 98 countries raised close to $200 million, and this year promises to be even better.

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 give 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 non-monetary 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 soup 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!

37 thoughts on “GratiTuesday: Giving Tuesday”

  1. And this is exactly why I follow your blog. So positive, uplifting, inspiring…and so what we need in the world right now. Thank you for sharing this, Janis.

  2. So you mean something other than the contribution I made to Doug Jones’ campaign last night? 🙂 These are good thoughts and suggestions, Janis. I have a local soup kitchen on my radar. Thanks for the reminder. – Marty

    1. Good for you! Our local public radio station is running a Giving Tuesday campaign today but we are already members. I plan on donating to Meals on Wheels for sure… and will check out other options on the website. Way more fun than fighting the crowds at the mall!

  3. I totally agree with the motives of Giving Tuesday, but (oh, oh – there’s always one party pooper) I worry that such days as this, Comic Relief and Red Nose Day associate giving too much with all sorts of razzmatazz. It would be nice if people could learn to be more giving and less consumerist all the time (and I know lots are). It raises awareness, which is great, but charities don’t disappear for another year at the end of it and they need donations to continue without hashtags and TV programmes. I don’t know what the answer is though!

    1. You are so right! We humans have short little spans of attention and need to be reminded, unfortunately. I don’t mind these prompts but they can get overwhelming… there are so many needs. I have to pick my few and concentrate my giving to those, unless there are catastrophic needs like natural disasters.

  4. A perfect post for GratiTuesday, Janis. Mark and I are organ donors and donate to an animal shelter. I hope to be able to volunteer my time to that cause one day as well.

    As far as Giving Tuesday this year, I was on the receiving end, it being my birthday. We did “give” to a local restaurant by going out to dinner. 🙂

  5. I’ve always given to my chosen charities around this time of year, probably because of the true meaning behind Thanksgiving & Christmas. It felt a bit overwhelming this year to be email targeted by so many asking for donations. I hope it encourages others, but I went off email for days…between pre-Black Friday to continued Cyber-Monday, I just stopped looking at my inbox. Hope no-one sent anything of importance!

    Oh, amazonSmiles is great. Every time you shop, a % goes to your charity of choice. I set it up last November (yeah, picked one which would be hurt with the changes coming). It’s not much (I’m not a big shopper), but if everybody does it, it can add up!

  6. I carefully researched charitable organizations in my area and chose three that I feel passionate about. I make donations to each of them every year and disregard the numerous other requests I receive throughout the year. Also, my employer typically chooses a couple of families in the community to provide Christmas gifts for. I always participate in that effort. As for volunteering, I’ve been a Girls on the Run running buddy for five years now. I love it. When I retire, I hope to do more volunteering. Thanks for the reminder of what this season is really about, Janis!

    1. One thing I miss about my job was my company’s employee donation match program. Whatever I gave was doubled. I have my favorite charities and causes too. It’s hard to ignore the other requests, but I like to concentrate my giving, except, of course, in situations of natural disasters like we’ve had recently.

  7. I love Giving Tuesday both as a practical concept and as a pledge about how to live a better life. I wish that it’d become a monthly sort of idea, much in the way that Meatless Monday [yes I know it’s weekly] is part of the collective unconsciousness. It’s all just something we do.

    1. Many charities have an option to sign up for regular donations (my local public broadcasting station charges our donation once a month) which helps spread the amount over time and helps them with their budgeting. Even if someone isn’t in a position to give money, I hope the day prompted some thoughts about giving in other ways too. I wish there was greater focus year round also, not just at the end of the year.

      1. Good point about the monthly donations. That’s a start in the sense of remembering once a month to be charitable in some way. Maybe eventually there’ll be something like Last Tuesday Give Day– only it’ll have a better name. 😉

  8. I’m a little slow to the dance, but I believe I’ll make it “Giving Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday” Thanks for the reminder! We like to give to our favorite charities at this time of year. Thanks for the gentle nudge! ~ Lynn

  9. While I am really grateful to these wonderful organizations that do such much good in the world, I have to confess I dread GivingTuesday because of the onslaught of heart wrenching emails that flood my inbox. I give as generously as I can and must make hard decisions about whom to give to, whom to support physically, and whom to just applaud. By the time GivingTuesday rolls around, I’ve already divvied up my little allotment. There’s simply nothing left but guilt.

    1. I understand what you mean. I also give throughout the year to my favorite charities. In addition, this year had so many natural disasters that led to even more requests for donations. It can feel overwhelming. But, we do what we can and try not to feel guilty. I hope that efforts like Giving Tuesday act as a prompt to those who have put off their giving or helps people realize that giving money is just one way to help out. Maybe it encourages some people to look into volunteer opportunities. Anyway, it’s just one day and, frankly, I would rather hear and read requests for donations, than be bombarded with ads that encourage us to spend, spend, spend money we don’t have for junk we don’t need during the holidays.

  10. Thanksgiving, GratiTuesday, and GivingTuesday go hand-in-hand-in-hand. Gratitude and giving are what the holidays should be about, not materialism and unnecessary gift-giving. Thank you for the timely reminder.

  11. I am a believer in giving generously, and I regularly donate to a number of organizations. As well, I pledge dollars to friends and family who do cancer rides/walks, and support many other events throughout the year. I also am a member of a service organization, so I fundraise for their initiatives. Still, I do not like to receive an inbox full of donation requests, nor glossy brochures in my mailbox, just as I do not like receiving heaps of advertising flyers.

    Jude

    1. I know the feeling, it can be overwhelming. It also makes me wonder how much they are spending on fundraising vs. on the cause they support.

      Unfortunately, those of us in the U.S. will be receiving more and more of these requests as our government makes it harder and harder for them to receive funding.

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