We’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Now, it’s charity’s turn. Welcome to #GivingTuesday.
#GivingTuesday was created by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City. It began in 2012 and now the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become the unofficial start of the charitable giving season.
According to the official website (givingtuesday.org), #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources. They’ve worked to connect diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.
Nearly one third of the $373 billion that Americans donated to charity in 2015 went to a religious organization.
The website offers resources for both constructing a campaign for your organization as well as finding outlets for individual giving. They’ve even created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community.
Givers are encouraged to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to share their efforts and spread the word about the day on their social media accounts.
Want to participate in #GivingTuesday? Here are a few simple ways to do it…
Give a financial gift to a charity of your choice, whether it’s a large international organization or a smaller, local group.
Donate clothes, food, household items, and more to food pantries or charitable groups.
Support retailers and other companies who are matching funds, pledging donations of receipts, or sponsoring gift drives.
And don’t forget, the most valuable donation you can give is your time. Donate your efforts or volunteer to serve the charitable group, church, hospital, youth organization or community service group of your choice.
It’s always wise to be careful who you are giving your money too. The #GivingTuesday website can help you with that. Organizations such as MinistryWatch, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator all offer guidance and resources to help you steer towards reputable charities that are responsible with their funds.
So Happy #GivingTuesday. A day that redirects holiday spending into a little charitable giving.