On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it may feel that Giving Tuesday is a bit of an afterthought. Perhaps it is, considering that Black Friday has been a shopping holiday since the 1950s and 60s and the term “Cyber Monday” first debuted in 2005. Giving Tuesday, created in 2012, is meant to be more than just a single day of giving. Its intent is to encourage a movement of global generosity, unleashing radical generosity upon the world.
If we were less distracted by deals and shopping incentives, perhaps more would find poetic harmony in the fact that Thanksgiving, a holiday marked by expressing gratitude and appreciation, is followed by a movement that encourages giving back.
The movement behind Giving Tuesday has continued to gain traction worldwide year after year. In 2020 alone, an estimated $2.47 billion was donated in one day, including $808 million in online donations. That’s just the monetary component of the day; consider the ripple effect that volunteerism and other acts of giving have had on communities worldwide. At the end of a dismal year, a 29% increase in participants over 2019 shines a light on something that we all possess – the capacity to give.
This year, Giving Tuesday falls on November 30 but there’s still time to figure out how you’ll make your impact. Remember, the meaning behind Giving Tuesday isn’t solely to fundraise, but rather to inspire people to do good. So, get the entire family involved – no donation, donor, or act of generosity is too small. Here are five simple ways you can get involved.
Donate to a BBB Accredited Charity.
Make the most of your donation by supporting a BBB Accredited Charity. BBB Accreditation provides assurance that your donation will be handled with care by an organization that meets high standards for ethics and accountability. Give with trust to a local accredited charity or find a national cause to support. If you’re searching for information on a charity that isn’t on either of these lists, search Give.org for their Charity Review report.
Volunteer your time.
Regardless of whether you have funds to share, consider volunteering your time to a charity this holiday season. Spending our time in service to others even triggers a chemical release in our brains that boosts our physical and mental health. Find your helper’s high by giving time to a BBB Accredited Charity.
From walking shelter dogs to serving food to the unhoused or donating blood, there are opportunities all around us to spend time in service to the community. If you have a valuable skill to share, such as an accounting background, legal experience, or marketing prowess, consider offering your skills to a nonprofit that may not have the budget to pay for these services regularly.
Give goods in-kind.
If time is hard to spare and money is tight, consider rifling through your closets and cabinets to find new and gently used items to donate. This time of year, canned food, coats, blankets, housewares, and like-new toys are in demand by charities serving a variety of causes. Before dropping off your donation, consult this guide to used goods donations to ensure that your donation provides more benefit than burden.
Give your voice.
Are you passionate about one of our BBB Accredited Charities? Post about it on social media – tell your community about the organization and include a link to their website, a relevant article, or even their BBB Charity Review. Challenge your friends to match your donation, join you in volunteering, or start a conversation about their favorite charity, too.
Random acts of kindness.
Giving time to charity is a fabulous thing but there are also opportunities all around us to show generosity through random acts of kindness. This might be the greatest way to teach the value of kindness to children and the options are endless. Acts of kindness are simple ways to let someone know they are cared for and seen. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Send a card to a resident at a retirement home or patient at a children’s hospital.
- Rake leaves for an elderly neighbor.
- Buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive thru.
- Give a stranger a compliment.
- Cook a meal for a friend.
- Pick up trash in the community.
- Tell someone whose made a difference in your life about the impact they’ve made.
Giving Tuesday started with the simple idea of encouraging people to do good. Its exponential growth shows that we can all contribute to making a real difference – both locally and globally – if we just take a step back and think beyond our own needs. Whether you’ve got $500 to give or choose to start with a weekly random act of kindness, you can help to make radical change in everyday life. And remember, there’s no reason to limit these actions to a random Tuesday in late fall.
What are some of your favorite ways to give back during the holidays? Let us know by leaving a comment.