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Entering its 7th year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving that was, and still is, fueled by the power of Social Media and collaboration.
#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end of the year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year, and a growing catalog of resources.
#GivingTuesday was created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, which is a cultural center in New York City that has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back, since 1874!
#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities, and organizations from around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.
#GivingTuesday utilizes the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. It provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources, and talents to address local challenges. It also 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.
As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing the capacity to care for and empower one another.
Give Back - Donate
Whether it's your time, money, or items, donating to your local charities, animal shelters, rescue missions, churches, schools, hospitals, and other nonprofit organizations can create a world of difference in the lives of others. Donate to a charity or organization that has impacted your life. Remember to share that you gave and encourage your family and friends to join you in giving back on #GivingTuesday.
Donations don't necessarily have to be monetary. Reach out to local organizations and see what items they need the most and collect them. Be creative with your ideas.
For instance: donate blankets, paper towels, or newspapers to your local humane society or veterinary clinic, donate food to your local food bank, donate blood to the Red Cross, for your next birthday or holiday, ask for charitable donations instead of gifts, create gift baskets or care packages for soldiers overseas or for single mothers.
There are many ways to donate, and many items to donate for any organization. Below are some examples of items that you could donate!
Give Your Voice
Speak up and speak out! Search for nonprofits in your neighborhood and email them or call them to see how you can help. Become an advocate for an organization that has left an impact on your life. Consider holding a public event where you can raise awareness about the organization you are supporting. Research what the organization needs the most, write articles on those topics or give presentations highlighting those topics.
Host a community fundraiser with games, food, baked goods, or raffles and have a leader from the organization speak for a few minutes to inform the crowd a little bit about themselves. Afterward, donate any proceeds or items collected to that charity.
Give Back Your Time - Volunteer
Below are some sample ideas of how you can use your time wisely and give back to those in your community - not just on #GivingTuesday, but every day of the year:
Think about your interests and what most appeals to you, then choose specific organizations pertaining to your interests to contact. Figure out how much time you can spend to volunteer, which will help you know what projects to pursue and it will also help volunteer coordinators organize. Next, do some research to see what projects you can do in your community, or look for organizations that are actively participating in #GivingTuesday. Lastly, start volunteering!
Give Pro Bono
If you're a professional, use your skills to help nonprofits with their campaigns. Search for pro bono opportunities or reach out to your local nonprofits to see how you can use your talents for good!
No matter what you choose to do, be sure to participate in #GivingTuesday next week. Kind people are the best people, and couldn't we all use a lot more kindness, care, and compassion in this world? Yes, we sure could.