No one has ever become poor by giving.Anne Frank
Giving Tuesday is December 1.
My most recent employer was a community-centric company who encouraged all the employees to be as involved as possible with their community and with the charities that were meaningful to the individual. It didn’t matter what the charity was or the level of involvement chosen, it was just encouraged in whatever form the employee could “afford” in terms of time and contribution.
For Giving Tuesday, they encouraged all of their employees to pick a charity, make a monetary donation, and they would match it up to $2M company-wide. I still remember how incredibly generous I thought this was, and it did a lot to not only recognize our favorite charities, but to focus on those less fortunate—for this one lovely day (immediately following Cyber Monday).
Fast forward to 2020. Times are different. So many jobs have been furloughed or lost, especially in the hospitality, event and gig industries. Finances are tight for many families. Between holiday gifts, charity donations, pitch-ins, and more, the pressure to spend, spend, spend! is all around.
This year, when one thinks of “Giving Tuesday,” it’s likely to be more of a passing thought than a focused and benevolent one. While Anne Frank may be right, and giving never makes one poor, many of us are clutching our pocketbooks a bit tighter this year. Consider that while 2020 brought waves of economic uncertainty and a lack of financial security, it has also shed light on how powerful our communities and connections can be—and the myriad of ways we can give without spending.
So, if you’d like to celebrate the season of giving while keeping a close eye on your finances, keep reading for a few simple ways to give without spending a penny—and help us out by spreading the word!
What is Giving Tuesday?
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving—after all of our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping—is Giving Tuesday. It’s one incredibly special day devoted to giving. It all started back in 2012 with the simple idea of “a day that encourages people to do good.”
The global Giving Tuesday movement has grown over the past eight years into a worldwide movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to stop the “spending” and thoughtfully give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
To help you celebrate Giving Tuesday on a budget this year, we’ve compiled a list of Giving Tuesday ideas to spread generosity and make a difference without spending a dollar:
Review. Rate. Recommend.
There are so many small businesses, non-profits, and organizations that have suffered this year. While it’s a great idea to shop and donate to these places, you can also make a major impact on their success by offering reviews and sharing their stories online. Exposure and good word-of-mouth recommendations are HUGE for these organizations and business—and it doesn’t cost a dime! (Pssst. . . . it helps your friendly blogger as well.) Sharing is caring!
Start a 5-Cent Crowdfund or Facebook Fundraiser.
Start a GoFundMe page or a Facebook fundraiser for Giving Tuesday embedded in a personalized hashtag. Explain your mission, the donation, and then share your crowdfunding for 24 hours to raise as many nickels as possible!
Clean Out Cupboards & Donate Extra Food.
There’s no better time to clean out your cupboards. Donate those extra non-perishable items to a food bank or soup kitchen in need. CalRecycle offers a program to help feed our California neighbors. If you live outside California, search your local area for the best place to donate.
Offer a Virtual Mentorship.
Offer a virtual mentorship to a local student or host a group learning circle. Education is the gift that keeps on giving. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn.” If you have a particular skill or experience that could help someone learn and grow, why not share your wisdom? Reach out to local colleges, high schools, or other programs and offer to host a webinar or mentor a student. Or, pledge to create a class on SkillShare. In honor of Giving Tuesday and donate all future sales to an organization of your choice.
Volunteer Your Time Or Skills.
Is there a nonprofit or organization whose mission you deeply support? If you can’t donate, offer your time, skills, or support. Want to help but not sure where? Consider these possibilities:
- Give your skills in HR, planning or technology to a non-profit. Get connected on Taproot+, a “connector” whose mission is to “help nonprofits and social change organizations solve critical challenges in their communities with the support of skilled volunteers sharing their expertise pro bono.”
- Support the Earth: Patagonia Action Works helps individuals (and companies) find events, petitions and skilled volunteer opportunities
- 1% for the Planet is a non-profit organization that works on a range of issues like food insecurity and urban agriculture,
- Protect the Future Children’s Foundations: Find a way to volunteer with any of these organizations. Impact children with a chance for a healthy, educated, and empowered future.
Shop Smart With Brands That Give Back.
If you can’t donate directly this year, you can still donate. Start shopping with brands and companies that are devoted to giving back. AmazonSmile and eBay for Charity are well-known, but other small businesses are getting in on the trend, too.
Here are a few to consider:
- Holistic beauty boutique Pink Moon donates 10% of each sale to organizations that offer wellness resources to women in need
- Bombas supports homeless shelters with each pair of cozy socks sold.
- Hozen makes beautiful, stylish and colorful handbags that are all vegan produced, made in Los Angeles and run by a family. 10% of their proceeds go to the mercy of animals.
- Mini + Meep has THE most adorable clothing for infants and toddlers. Homegrown with love in Asheville, NC, their products are all organic and designed to make you smile. And you will smile wider knowing that everytime you make a purchase from their store, they purchase a meal for a child in need. They’re near 25,000 meals at current count!
- Om-Matters is an online store for all things yoga (including a really cool app). You’ll find yourself with some inner peace and zen with their clothing, practice cards or meditation candles. And it’s a gift that keeps on giving. 10% of all of their proceeds bring yoga and education to help at-risk youth learn how they can use yoga to empower themselves and take better care of their bodies, minds and hearts.
- Third Love makes bras and underwear for all of us alternative lingerie models. You will find out more than you ever knew about sizing yourself on their website. And you’ll find their products incredibly functional and comfortable. To date, they’ve also donated over $20M in bras to women in need, including some of our ladies affected by the recent California fires. That’s a whole lotta love right there!
Finish 2020 With a Generous Heart.
Whether you choose to give with your mind, your time, or your money, make this Giving Tuesday count. The most important thing to remember about giving is that it must come from the heart. A true gift is one in which you expect nothing in return. The happiness to have made a difference in someone else’s life. And the beauty of it is, we all have the power to give—no matter how much or how little we have!
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands—one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Audrey Hepburn