Are You Ready for Nonprofit Giving Tuesday?

by | Jan 30, 2023 | Featured Nonprofits

When the first week of November arrives, many people start thinking about making plans for Giving Tuesday. Others are still trying to figure out what this quirky idea is all about. Whether you were an early adopter of this nearly ten-year-old movement or just recently jumped on this generosity bandwagon, you might want to know where the idea came from and what it can mean for you. Whether you are a donor or a nonprofit, you don’t want to be left behind.

The popularity of Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement inspiring hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. For almost ten years it has been gaining momentum, raising millions for nonprofits around the country.

The first year, 2012, saw $10 million come in and ballooned to nearly $400 million by the end of 2018. By 2020 the practice of giving to one’s favorite charities on Giving Tuesday yielded $2.47 billion, up 25 percent from $1.97 billion the year before. Last year—2021—a nine percent growth in donations brought the total to $2.7 billion.

How did Giving Tuesday start?

According to Wikipedia, Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for the purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This popular movement has created an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season. It always falls five days after the holiday. This year Giving Tuesday will take place on November 29.

It gives everyone the chance to unleash the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. Whether you’re giving your voice, your time, or your money to improve the lives of others, generosity is one of the most powerful ways you can have an impact in the world.

Make Giving Tuesday work for you.

No doubt your email inbox is peppered with Giving Tuesday requests. Rather than responding to each one in the moment, or ignoring them all, be prepared by making your giving plan now. Start by designing your own giving strategy that reflects your values and passion by following these two easy steps.

>>Step one—Consult your heart.

Make a list of those causes or organizations you hold dear. For example, are you passionate about causes that help keep women and children safe like CALM, CASA, or Domestic Violence Solutions? Do you care more about providing housing like Habitat for Humanity, Peoples’ Self Help Housing, or Transition House? Is your biggest interest animals like Wildlife Care Network or the Santa Barbara Zoo? Are you interested in end of life care like Hospice of Santa Barbara? How about helping people recover from addictions like the Rescue Mission or Casa Serena? Maybe you are most interested in helping the poor like Unity Shoppe. Perhaps you prefer to donate to environmental causes like Community Environmental Council. Or maybe you are more drawn to the arts and music like Music Academy of the West, Opera Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony, Lobero, or Ensemble Theater. Or perhaps older adults concern you most like at the Friendship Center or VNA. You can also consider museums such as the Natural History Museum or the Botanic Garden or the Maritime Museum. You will find a plethora of nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area to choose from. In fact, Santa Barbara County has the second highest number of nonprofits per capita in California.

>>Step Two—Decide how you will give.

There are so many ways to give. Remember that every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give. Maybe you like volunteering for the Foodbank, or advocating for the underserved through the Fund for Santa Barbara, or donating cash to United Way, or giving your used treasures to Alpha Thrift Store. You can give kindness through the Mentor program at CADA, or contribute your talents—many nonprofits are understaffed or operating on a small budget and can’t afford the marketing, HR, technology, or planning resources that their missions deserve. Ask your favorite nonprofits what talent or expertise they need most.

You can form a group of neighbors or co-workers and give together toward a common cause. Be sure to share with others why you give so they will be inspired to do the same. You can spread the word by posting your #UNselfie on social media or share your story as part of the #MyGivingStory.

Giving takes so many forms. Decide which is best for you and for the organizations you choose. For example, you can write a check, give assets (like a used car), arrange for an IRA rollover, include the charity in your will, donate appreciated stocks or life insurance, or contribute to a donor advised fund through the Santa Barbara Foundation. Most gifts have a double benefit by being tax-deductible for the donor.

Be part of #GivingTuesday.

So get busy and jump on the giving bandwagon. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to contribute to your favorite cause. Just pick your organizations, identify the gifts you want to contribute, and take charge of your own #GivingTuesday campaign. Get ready to give on November 29 and every day.

Please consider being extra generous this year with your donations because every single nonprofit in Santa Barbara is struggling to meet the demand for services and keep their head above the financial waters.

Keep the movement alive in Santa Barbara.

Check out Noozhawk’s recently refreshed section, Good for Santa Barbara. This section features Noozhawk’s Guide to Giving which will be promoted on their site and via social media in conjunction with #Giving Tuesday. This guide will be active all year to encourage charitable giving throughout the year.