Giving Tuesday— the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the internationally recognized day to contribute to charity — is upon us. Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday invites us to improve our community by donating to causes that resonate with us.
“I like Giving Tuesday because it gets me focused on my holiday and year-end donations,” said Dennis Forster, CFP, a local donor. “Sometimes I give contributions on that day and sometimes I use that day to make my giving plan for the rest of the year.”
Whether you like to make charitable donations five days after Thanksgiving or prefer to use that day to jump start your personal philanthropy plan, it’s time to get ready.
You can prepare for this special day by following these two steps to create your own giving strategy that reflects your values and passion.
>>Step one—Consult your heart.
Make a list of those causes or organizations you hold dear. Here are some examples:
- 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 or Transition House?
- Is your biggest interest animals like Wildlife Care Network, Care4Paws 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 CADA or Rescue Mission?
- 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, Granada, Santa Barbara Revels, Santa Barbara Symphony, Lobero, or Ensemble Theater.
- You might like supporting causes that get people outdoors like Nature Track, or Wilderness Youth Projects, or Cycling Without Age.
- Or perhaps older adults or the disabled concern you most like at the Friendship Center or Hillside.
- How about youth-serving nonprofits like United Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc, YouthWell, or AHA?
- You can also consider museums such as the Natural History Museum or the Botanic Garden or the Maritime Museum.
- Community access media might interest you like TVSB.
Santa Barbara County rates as the second highest number of nonprofits per capita in California. So, you will find a plethora of nonprofits to choose from.
>>Step Two—Decide how you will give.
There are so many ways to give. 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 Direct Relief or giving your used treasures to Alpha Thrift Store.
You can contribute your talents to the many nonprofits that 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.
Giving takes so many forms. Most gifts have a double benefit by being tax-deductible for the donor as well as supporting the organization. Decide which method of giving is best for you and for the organizations you choose. For example,
- Form a group of neighbors or co-workers and give together toward a common cause
- Write a check
- Give assets (like a used car)
- Arrange for an IRA contribution
- Include the charity in your will
- Donate appreciated stocks or life insurance
- Contribute to a donor advised fund through the Santa Barbara Foundation.
The popularity of Giving Tuesday has grown into a global movement.
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.
The first year, 2012, saw $10 million come in and ballooned to $3.1 billion by 2022, 15% more than the previous year.
Giving Tuesday offers 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.