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Monday, November 29, 2021

Why You Should Add GivingTuesday to Your Holiday Calendar

You’re knee-deep in Thanksgiving food, debating between a hike and a Black Friday sale, bookmarking your Cyber Monday wishlist, and coordinating your Small Business Saturday excursion. 2022 is already breathing down your neck. Is this really the time to take on another post-Thanksgiving “Day”-themed event? In short: Yes. 

At its best, the holiday season is a time for giving and togetherness, even if togetherness looks a little different now than it has in the past. Sometimes, this season is overtaken by things like financial stress, concerns about health and safety, interpersonal conflict, and the intersection of these problems: Black Friday. When those negatives seem to outweigh the positives and we feel obligated to perform joy, the holiday season becomes a burden rather than a privilege. Embracing the true joy of collective giving on GivingTuesday can bring much-needed balance to your busy schedule as you approach a new year. 

Collective giving is a powerful force for change in the world. Alone, your donation may not be enough to support an organization maintaining or growing its scope and reach. Whether it is raising your voice, contributing your time, or giving money, the potential of your effort to impact the world is always greatest when you do it with others. When we work together, our individual actions become part of a movement. For those who give regularly and for those who find that giving often falls to the bottom of an endlessly growing to-do list, GivingTuesday is an opportunity to examine how your money, time, goods, and voice can be used in concert with the contributions of other to better your community and the world. 

How to get involved: 

  1. Find a cause or organization: You may already have a cause or organization in mind. If so, great! Long-time donors can use this opportunity to give in ways that are comfortable and familiar. For those who are unsure of where to start or are looking for some new ideas, Hot Topics lists offer high-quality organizations addressing a range of social issues.

  2. Respond to a challenge: If you have a social media presence, chances are someone you are connected to is already calling on their network to join them in supporting a cause or engaging in #GivingTuesday. Answer that call to let them and others know that you are part of the movement.

  3. Invite others to join you: Spread existing messaging on social media or start your own conversation about GivingTuesday. Lean into the joy of collective giving by inviting friends and family, in person or online, to join you on GivingTuesday and beyond. Is it time for your kids to learn about the power of volunteering? Are you ready to start a giving circle with your friends? Catalyze giving in any of its forms by engaging those around you in GivingTuesday.

  4. Give, and plan future giving: Of course, the point of GivingTuesday is to actually make the leap and give what you can on the day. To make this final plunge securely, take a moment to check organizations’ ratings and consider using the Giving Basket to organize and execute your donations. And, since you have taken the time to find high-quality organizations making an impact on issues you care about, why stop there? Set up recurring donations within the Giving Basket to ensure that those organizations have a steady, reliable cash flow through the year.

However you show up for GivingTuesday, make the most of the opportunity to embrace collective giving to create lasting joy this holiday season. 

About the author: Clarissa Coburn is a Charity Navigator contributor. 

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