Black Friday and Cyber Monday are unofficial consumerism holidays for my Americans. In 2017, Adobe Analytics estimated that retailers made more than 7.9 billion in revenue. After spending so much money buying holiday gifts and taking advantage of great sales, it is important to think about those in need. Giving Tuesday is a National Day of Giving that happens on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
The History of Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a chance to give to various causes, nonprofits and organizations doing great work in the world. This national day of giving was started in 2012 as a complement to all of the spending and consumerism happening around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation are often credited with starting Giving Tuesday. On this day, you might have some favorite charities to donate to, or you may want to invest in a new group or cause that has come to your attention. Having a day focused on giving celebrates the spirit of giving back and thankfulness that happens around the holiday season. This year, Giving Tuesday happens on December 3rd, 2019.
Use Social Media to Celebrate
Social media is a big part of Giving Tuesday. People often celebrate their favorite causes and nonprofits by sharing about their donations and why they are giving. One of the best ways to spread generosity, kindness, and the culture of giving back is to use the hashtag “GivingTuesday.” The day is all about paying it forward and inspiring others to give back. Instead of spending money on televisions and electronics, people can give to those in need. Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown and is popular around the country. In 2018, over $400 million dollars was raised in an effort to give back. Since its beginning, experts have estimated that it has crossed the billion dollar mark in total giving.
Online Ways to Give
Non-profits advertise the different ways to donate on Giving Tuesday. If you have a favorite charity already, donate in honor of someone and make sure to highlight this with the hashtag. If you do not know where to start, think about the social justice causes you care about in the world. Do you want to fight hunger and poverty? Do you care about animals or the environment? Start with your passions and then look for organizations doing great work in these areas. You can donate online or go old school and mail in a check. If you need ideas, simply go to GivingTuesday.org/join. Here, you can find great ideas about how to celebrate the day and a list of organizations that could use your attention and support.
Acts of Service
You might make a donation to your favorite non-profit online but may also want a more personal way to give. You could always start or contribute to a toy drive or make blankets for local homeless shelters. You can also volunteer your time at a food pantry and other organizations. Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to those in need. You can get your family members, friends and coworkers involved by setting up collection boxes for food. You do not have to have money to do this. Instead, you can use your time and resources to pay it forward in the world.
Other Ways to Celebrate Giving Tuesday
If you have limited resources, think about raising awareness on Giving Tuesday. This is a chance to share a social media post about a cause you care about, and it is a chance to highlight nonprofits doing great work. Another way to give back into the world is to sign a petition, write a letter to your legislator and to share other people’s posts about Giving Tuesday. The day is just as much about community building and positivity as it is financial donations.
Get Others Involved
If you want to get people involved with Giving Tuesday, start today! Send an email to your loved ones about why you are celebrating this day of giving and give them a list of ways they can join the event. You can even set up a calendar invite and invite people to it. On your actual day of giving, share your action on social media and text loved ones about your giving. Check to see if your company offers matching gifts. Companies are just as likely to give on Giving Tuesday as individuals, which spreads even more awareness and promotes change and generosity.
The holidays are a time to reflect on what you are thankful for. It is not just about getting the best deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Taking some time to celebrate National Day of Giving is a chance to put some real good in the world, especially as people struggle to make ends meet. Think about your favorite causes and be intentional about how you celebrate Giving Tuesday. As more people celebrate this day, more holiday cheer is spread. This is a chance to really make a difference in the world.