Welcome back, Tappers!
We hope you had amazing Thanksgiving celebrations full of love, warmth, and that reallyyyyy good gravy, the kind that doesn’t skimp on the butter. Now that the holiday and those hectic few days of holiday sales have passed, it’s time to focus your finances on a more altruistic occasion: Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday was first conceived by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y, a centuries-old cultural center that focuses on community service. Now in it’s 5th year, the day aims celebrate and promote giving of all kinds. Its mission does not focus on a specific cause, group, or affiliation. Instead, it hopes to encourage philanthropy in the same broad sense that Black Friday and Cyber Monday encourage consumerism. Think of it as a palette cleanser after all that hedonistic spending.
So how do you ensure you make the most of Giving Tuesday? You have plenty of options.
The most straight-forward route for giving back is now easier than ever, thanks to the Internet. Think of a cause you believe in and do a quick Google search to find organizations that focus on that cause. Don’t get that credit card out just yet though! First, head to CharityWatch.org or Give.org to research the organizations you’re considering donating to. Both Charity Watch and Give rates charities based on what percentage of donor contributions actually goes to support their stated mission. You’ll want to make sure your choice received high marks before you click that Submit Donation button.
Find a local soup kitchen, religious organization, women’s shelter, or other charitable organization that appeals to you and give them a call asking what type of volunteer opportunities they have available. They’ll probably be delighted to put you to work sorting donations, doling out food, or helping clean and beautify an area.
DONATE YOUR THINGS
You need to make room for all those new things you bought, so it’s time to clean out that closet! Be realistic about what things would actually be helpful for people in need (warm coats, blankets, boots), and which would just clog up donation centers (that stained fast-fashion top you bought in high school.) For the most immediate impact, you should donate to a local organization that directly works with those in need. However, for the most efficiency, you can drop your goods off at a nationwide organization that focuses on charitable resale.
SHOP LIKE YOU CARE
Plenty of retailers are getting in on Giving Tuesday by having promotions that focus on benefitting others, not the buyers themselves. Make sure to seek out and take advantage of these promotions. They typically involve donating a duplicate pair of something you bought or donating a portion of all their sales revenue for the day. You can also make a difference right in your community by shopping at small, local retailers instead of large chains. This helps put money in the pockets of those around you, while still having the added perk of landing you the gear you’re lusting after.
No matter the method you choose, remember to use social media to spread the word about the good you’re doing to inspire your pals to get in on the action.
We hope these tips provided a little direction for giving back today and in the days ahead. Comment below to tell us the causes you’re excited to start supporting and have an uplifting Giving Tuesday!