Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. What’s next? Giving Tuesday. That’s right. This December 2nd, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a new global holiday and it’s all about philanthropy. Established in 2012, by New York City’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, and a team of influencers and founding partners, Giving Tuesday now engages over 10,000 organizations worldwide.
As we wrote in our last column, “It’s always good to give.” Now you can give in concert with your family, co-workers, friends, and most importantly people around the world. There is no end to the diversity of causes that seek your time, money, influence and resources. You can “Like” a Facebook page, forward a tweet, or sign an online petition. You can engage your friends using social media, the phone, or a short meeting after church, synagogue, or prayers at your mosque. You can give money or time or both. Either way when you engage others you multiply and amplify your giving. If you are an employer you can match your employee’s giving. If you run a consumer business you can pledge of portion of Giving Tuesday’s proceeds. You make the choice.
If you are involved with a nonprofit you are – most likely – finalizing your Giving Tuesday plans. The University of Michigan is launching Giving BlueDay on December 2nd, seeking to raise $1 million from alumni and friends that day. The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship encourages people to share their story of surviving cancer and give $10 to $20. Your local United Way welcomes your support. The Africa America Institute is raising funds on Giving Tuesday to train nurses at Tubman University’s Nursing Program in Liberia. Google an organization close to your heart and find a way to give.
This is also an important time to introduce or reinforce the value of giving to the next generation. Talk with your children at home. Integrate philanthropy into your classroom or afterschool program using Dr. Heidi Kasevich’s curriculum guide for grades K-12. There’s also the gratitude blog through which you, your family and friends can record your gratitude. Both of these resources are available at GivingTuesday.org where you can also find tools, tips and technology to help you give and receive.
At the end of the day Giving Tuesday is about philanthropy – a time for each of us to reflect on our abundance and share our resources with others. We can give on this one day, or we can take time to build giving into our everyday lives. We can reflect on how giving changes our relationship to ourselves and the world. We can diminish feelings of alienation and restore our feelings of connection. Giving has deep spiritual, emotional, social and religious impacts. We are changed as we give. Often for the better.
Photo credit: Giving Tuesday
Mel and Pearl Shaw are the authors of “Prerequisites for Fundraising Success” and “The Fundraiser’s Guide to Soliciting Gifts.” They provide fundraising counsel to nonprofits. Visit them at www.saadandshaw.com. Follow them on Twitter: @saadshaw.