Today we celebrate Giving Tuesday.

You’ve probably seen hundreds of social media posts about it in the last few days – most of them asking for donations, but do you know what it is? Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages radical generosity.

Created in New York City at the 92nd Street Y, Henry Timms, Executive Director, co-founded the idea along with the United Nations Foundation. In 2019, it became an independent nonprofit. Its CEO is Asha Curran.

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, its mission is to bring people together from all around the world and unite through advocacy and generosity to support their communities.

Here are six ways you can show some love to the causes you believe in:

  1. Donate – For those who can give, nonprofits desperately need financial support to carry out their missions. Whether you can comfortably give $5, $50, or even $5 million – every little bit counts. For the causes I believe in, I have recurring monthly donations on my credit card, at $5 each month, some at $10.
  2. Volunteer – I am the Marketing Director for an arts nonprofit. This is a volunteer working Board position, but you don’t have to be on a Board. You can volunteer your time in your community for any nonprofit. We work with volunteers who help us with our events and other tasks. Seek out organizations that you align with and fill out the volunteer form on their website. I have volunteered at animal shelters, telephone fundraisers, higher education student business competitions, and other organizations. They’re not too time-consuming, often have a firm start/finish, and have a lasting effect on my ‘feel good’ vibes knowing that I contributed to something I believe in.
  3. Space – Another easy way to contribute is by inviting nonprofits to use your area. Suppose you have an extra office or space in your garage for storage, or if you have a meeting room that can be used for Board meetings. Often the equipment in an office meeting space is much more than a nonprofit can afford on its own.
  4. Equipment – Offices are always well-equipped with computers, printers, copiers. Why not offer a nonprofit access to these? So often, simple things become complicated such as printing event flyers to post around the community or creating mailings. These can be costly at an office supply store.
  5. Cook – I’m a full-blown foodie and member of many cooking groups. I learned about Lasagna Love through one, which delivers food to families in need of some extra love and kindness. They’re in all 50 United States and most major cities. I haven’t done this yet, but plan to.
  6. Clean – Is there a park or beach in your area in need of some love? Spending a day outside with like-minded folks in your community is a great way to give back.

I hope you find these suggestions helpful in the spirit of Giving Tuesday’s belief of radical generosity and kindness. In tight financial times, we can all still do some good.

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