This Tuesday, December 1st, marks Giving Tuesday, a phenomenon which started in 2012. With the help of a hashtag (#GivingTuesday), this social media feel-good frenzy encourages people to donate money to specific causes or a personal philanthropic passion. Henry Timms created this movement and it has now expanded to 68 countries.
As a therapist I have worked in non-profit agencies for the last 12 years and I have witnessed a different side of the “need” that is out there. Many people consider donating a bag of old clothes as “philanthropic.” Those donations are definitely needed but let’s look a little deeper.
- Give undergarments and/or socks to a local shelter.
I have worked at non-profit domestic violence agencies where donations are vital to supporting our clients. With the change of season, clean undergarments and/or new socks are usually the least donated item.
Think about it. When you donate your old clothes, you don’t give them your old socks and underwear. If you donate to a homeless program you could also consider umbrellas and gloves.
- Think about smaller foundations in your area
My husband and I recently attended a fundraiser for a children’s cancer foundation. During the fundraiser they showed a video from their summer camp. Donations made during silent auction and throughout the dinner specifically sponsored a child’s fee to attend camp. Large foundations who receive generous press will have more opportunities to fundraise as opposed to smaller foundations. I had not heard about this local foundation before the fundraiser but it is now on our family’s radar in terms of philanthropy.
3.Consider giving to an agency that helps people in your family.
Do you have a family member with autism? With chronic pain/fibromyalgia/autoimmune diseases? Cancer survivors? Provide a donation in their name to a community agency that needs funds to help its clientele. Maybe these local agencies have holiday celebrations that need volunteer labor or food donations. Think outside the box.
Giving Tuesday is an excellent idea in December after the Thanksgiving rush but think about implementing it year-round within your family. Food banks receive more donations during the end of the year but what happens the rest of the year?
How will you plan on getting creative for Giving Tuesday??