Since #GivingTuesday is around the corner, we wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about what it is, where it came from and how to have the #RealMoneyTalk with yourself about charitable donations. It’s always best to make a plan for yourself before you’re thrust into the heat of the moment. Those types of situations are rife for impulse decisions, and few things do more to bust budgets than impulsive or heat-of-the-moment decisions!
The origins of Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday was started back in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation. With all of the rampant consumerism and spending that happens in the days and weeks after Thanksgiving on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the idea was to give people an alternative to do something good for others.
Giving Tuesday ranges from November 27th to December 3rd and always comes exactly 5 days after Thanksgiving. In 2019, Giving Tuesday is December 3rd and runs for 24 hours in the local timezone. From an inauspicious start, it has grown into a global event that raised approximately USD $400 million in 2018.
Give of your time and talents instead of money
If you end up giving money that you can’t afford and put yourself and your family into a tough financial situation, you’re not doing anyone any good. And while it is undoubtedly true that the main focus of Giving Tuesday is on financial donations to non-profit and charitable organizations, there are plenty of opportunities to give back in non-financial ways. Look for local organizations in your community that are giving back.
There are lots of ways to give
So just because the main focus of Giving Tuesday is donating financially, as we talked about, there are many ways that you can give back. Besides donating money or time, consider:
- Give Goods – while I’m sure no organization wants your second-hand junk :-), you can work with a local organization, ask them what types of goods they are looking for, and organize a donation drive
- Give Kindness – look for people in your community that could use a little extra bit of kindness.
- Give of your talents – many non-profits or small organizations don’t always have the ability to staff a full organization, so if you have talents in things like IT, Marketing or HR, you may easily
- Give with your community – And of course, giving is always more fun when you’re doing it with other people! In our family, we try to look for things that we all enjoy doing so that we can share in the giving.
Check out the Giving Tuesday page for individuals to look for other opportunities on how to give back this year.
So the point is that there are lots of ways to take part in giving back, both on Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time and effort to figure out what the best way is for you!
How to find opportunities to give back this Giving Tuesday
If you’ve had your #RealMoneyTalk with yourself and feel like now is not the right time for a financial donation, there are plenty of opportunities to give of your time and talents. Generally, I’m a big fan of giving back locally to the causes that are important to you in your own community, and the official Giving Tuesday site maintains a list of local community campaigns as well as a list of participating organizations. You can also consider a site like Taproot+ to search for organizations near you that might be able to benefit from a pro bono donation of your talents.
If your schedule or financial circumstances don’t give you opportunities to give on Giving Tuesday, another way to keep yourself in the spirit of Giving Tuesday is to find ways to do good in your community. Help a neighbor, get involved with your community, or do a random act of kindness.
And remember, there’s nothing magical about giving on Giving Tuesday – you can always give later in the year and I would imagine that for many organizations, giving throughout the year would probably be more helpful and appreciated than a one-time donate and dash today. Remember that the point of the #RealMoneyTalk is that regardless of the fact that “everyone” is giving money on Giving Tuesday, you make sure that you’re keeping yourself on solid financial fitting.
What are your plans for Giving Tuesday? Leave them in the comments!