Giving Tuesday: Addressing Systemic Racism, Climate Change, and Other Issues with Generosity
- The first Giving Tuesday took place on November 27, 2012, as a way for individuals to kick off the holiday season by reminding people that the holidays are about more than consumerism, shopping, and gift-giving. Approximately 2,500 nonprofits participated in the holiday’s inaugural event, raising an estimated $10.1 million in donations.
- In 2013, Giving Tuesday donations surpassed $19.2 million, with more than 10,000 nonprofits participating In that same year, #GivingTuesday was the top-trending hashtag on Twitter, and the United Nations Foundation confirmed the phenomenon had become a global event.
- In 2019, Giving Tuesday raised more than $511 million online in the U.S. — part of the nearly $2 billion raised online and offline combined. Since its founding, the holiday has grown into a global movement, spurring a tidal wave of kindness and generosity throughout the world.
Identify Causes That Resonate with Your Values
- Animal Rights: If you’re passionate about combating animal abuse, neglect, and cruelty and would like to donate to an organization whose mission is to improve animals’ welfare, the Humane Society and the ASPCA are reputable and highly regarded.
- Voting Rights: Interested in helping combat voter suppression and disenfranchisement? League of Women Voters and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law are among the organizations working to protect voting rights.
- Gender Equality: Organizations such as Equality Now and Time’s Up are just two of the many nonprofits fighting to ensure that all people, regardless of gender, have equal rights, including equal access to healthcare and paycheck equality.
- Environmental Issues: If you’re passionate about sustainability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and combating global warming, consider donating to charities such as the Rainforest Alliance and the Environmental Defense Fund.
- Fighting Systemic Racism: Systemic racism has led to racial disparities in access to healthcare and housing, in addition to inequity in the criminal justice system. Equal Justice Initiative and Until Freedom are just two of the nonprofits working to combat this issue.
- Immigrants’ Rights: Individuals unhappy with issues such as the federal family separation policy may be interested in donating to charities that advocate for immigrant rights such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigration Law Center.
3 Ways You Can Give That Don’t Involve Money
- Give Your Time. Consider giving back to your community by volunteering at a local animal shelter, homeless shelter, nursing home, or food bank. Even during the pandemic, there are many safe ways to volunteer your time in a physically distant or virtual fashion; check with your local organizations for how they could use your help.
- Give Your Talent. Individuals who are experienced in web design, computer networking, marketing, advertising, writing, and other areas can offer to lend their skills to nonprofits in numerous ways. Websites such as Taproot connect skilled volunteers with nonprofits that need help with various projects.
- Give Kindness. Kindness is the world’s most valuable currency. Seek opportunities to open the door for someone, give up your seat on the bus to an older person, or even offer to pay for the cup of coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through line.
How to Tell if an Organization Is Legitimate
- Look for the Organization’s Form 990 Disclosure. All nonprofits must file Form 990 with the IRS, which provides details about how they spent the past year’s contributions. If a nonprofit is unwilling to share its Form 990, it’s a red flag. Individuals who register with GuideStar can gain free access to Form 990s for the major nonprofits in the U.S. and search for charities by name.
- Be Skeptical About Requests for Donations. Phone solicitation scams are as prevalent as ever. Be wary of solicitation calls and do not give out your credit card or bank information over the phone.
- Research Volunteer Opportunities. Several resources provide information on legitimate volunteer opportunities. Examples include Points of Light, a website that connects volunteers with virtual opportunities, and VolunteerMatch, an organization that pairs volunteers with nonprofits that align with their interests.