By now you’re probably familiar with Giving Tuesday, the unofficial but widely observed national event that takes place annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.
The event was initiated in 2012 as a way to kick off the season of giving and remind people the holidays are about more than consumerism. Last year it raised some $274 million in contributions, a 55 percent increase over 2016.
Like the rest of the holidays, Giving Tuesday tends to sneak up on us each year. If you haven’t had the chance to decide how and where to bestow your holiday giving this month, consider the following suggestions for making those choices.
- Often, corporations or anonymous donors will match individual cash donations bestowed to certain nonprofits on Giving Tuesday. You can get double the bank for your buck if you direct your holiday giving to one of those causes — or maybe triple the bang for your buck if your employer also matches your contribution.
- Depending on your situation, giving doesn’t have to be about contributing your own money. Think instead about donating your time as a volunteer; giving blood; baking or cooking for someone else; passing on something of value; donating unwanted belongings to a nonprofit like Goodwill; being a grassroots publicist for the event or organizing a fundraiser through which others with more means can donate.
- Choose a cause or causes that have personal meaning to you, whether they involve children, women, animals, the fight against a given illness, a certain philosophical issue or something else that’s affected your life.
- Vet your top choices through an objective site such as Charity Navigator that summarizes each organization’s previous work and reports how much of your donation will help the cause itself instead of administration.
- Share your story or experiences on the Giving Tuesday website to try to inspire others.
- Stash away the receipts from your donations to 501(c)(3) organizations to earn eligible deductions during tax time.
- Consider supporting future generations of working women by contributing to the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund or to the American Business Women’s Foundation.