By now, most of us are more than familiar with the three big holiday shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday?
Simply put, Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to do good. One would think it would be all but overlooked in all the holiday hoopla, but quite the contrary: After giving thanks for our own blessings, and having three opportunities to shop our hearts out, folks are ready to give back. This global effort began in 2012 as a joint project between New York’s 92nd Street YMCA and the United Nations Foundation. It has been steadily gaining traction since, thanks to social media, collaboration between numerous organizations, and a generous, giving society, with efforts and donation dollars increasing exponentially — particularly in recent years. It’s heartwarming, isn’t it? And it makes nearly everyone want to join the effort.
So, what should you give on Giving Tuesday? We’re not talking about an amount here, but rather, ways to contribute by giving some of what we have to those who need our help. After all, every act of generosity counts, and everyone has something to give. To that end, we’ve put together a few general ideas for ways you can share your gifts on Giving Tuesday.
Share your story. Speak up to advocate for issues that are meaningful to you, putting your story and passion behind the cause. By doing so, we can have a big impact within our own communities, effecting the kind of change that makes a lasting difference.
Share the news. Share how and why you're giving back on Giving Tuesday by posting your story on social media (posting your #UNselfie is optional!). You’ll motivate others to contribute as well.
Share the effort. Unite and inspire. Pair up with friends to organize a fundraiser or drive, organize a group volunteering event, host virtual forums on local issues, or post a digital kindness wall.
Share the love — or a smile. Pay for the car behind you in the drive-thru, carry a stranger's groceries, or call to check on a neighbor. A small act of kindness has such an impact on both the giver and the recipient — the giving spirit is so contagious!
Share time and talent. Volunteering allows you to support causes that are important to you while connecting to your community and learning more about issues affecting it — and it also feels pretty good. We put a lot of emphasis on community involvement at UBT, so we know how many organizations are needing able bodies to do anything from cleaning up grounds and beds to filing paperwork to assembling food packages and making phone calls. If you’ve got some time to spare, there are plenty of ways to get involved! On a slightly different bent, when you volunteer using your specific gifts, education, or experience, you’re helping a nonprofit operate on a shoestring budget (aren’t they all?) by offering technology, financial or events planning resources, or wherever your aptitudes lie.
Share your treasure. Donate to a nonprofit or community organization that has impacted your life or that of someone you love. Perhaps there’s a local organization (or several) that you feel strongly about that contribute greatly to the health and well-being of our community, one that is greatly impacting diversity and civil issues, or one that champions another cause that really speaks to you. And donating to a nonprofit is easier than ever: Most organizations have a secure donation link on their website that makes giving safe and practically effortless by using your credit card.
Giving is important all year round. But this year, on November 28, consider hopping on the Giving Tuesday bandwagon to give it up for those nonprofits that have shown the love to others. We think you’ll be glad you did.
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