At the end of August a Forbes report came out about the newest attempt to add another date to our national calendar. #GivingTuesday (November 27th this year) is the latest addition to the most famous shopping week in America. Following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday was developed by the non-profit 92nd Street Y community and cultural center (92Y) in conjunction with the United Nations Foundation. The #GivingTuesday website just fully launched this week and features a list of all partners ranging from corporate shopping companies like Groupon to non-profits like the American Red Cross and crowdsourcing fundraising sites like Crowdrise. Read Mashable’s post about their #GivingTuesday participation.
#GivingTuesday’s Mission Statement says it all: #GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.”
Not everyone behaves badly on Black Friday, for some people it’s a great bonding experience with friends or family. There are some people out there though that ruin it for everyone else. Each year we hear horror stories of stampedes at big box stores that threaten the safety of shoppers and store employees. Remember all the fights that broke out between parents trying to buy Tickle Me Elmo when it first came out? If you find yourself behaving like these people, there’s still hope! You can participate in #GivingTuesday.
Think that you can’t afford to do all of your holiday shopping and party planning AND donate to charities? You have more expendable cash for giving this Holiday Season than you think. When putting together your Black Friday strategy plan, write down the regular prices for each item you intend on purchasing. After Black Friday is over, make a comparison chart that shows how much you saved for each item you bought. This will make you feel awesome about your savings, and will also help find a little extra in your checking account to donate on #GivingTuesday. It’s easy to tell ourselves that we would love to donate more but just don’t have the extra funds. Having a list of your total Black Friday savings will help you get into the giving spirit a little easier.
You can participate in #GivingTuesday by donating in general, whether to your church, the Salvation Army, local charities/non-profits or you can donate directly to #GivingTuesday’s page on Crowdrise.com where you can choose to support organizations that have signed up to benefit from #GivingTuesday. If you really do not have the extra funds to donate on #GivingTuesday, the gift of your time is just as valuable. Research charities in your area and see what kind of volunteers they are looking for. Take the whole family to volunteer at a soup kitchen or animal shelter as a reminder to everyone that aside from not being just about gifts, the Holidays are about more than just your family. You can even help just by getting the word out about #GivingTuesday on social media; tell your friends, your family, your coworkers, tell everyone!
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