Giving Tuesday is coming up on November 30th, and it’s a perfect opportunity to give back, in ways big and small, by supporting causes and charities that are close to your heart.
But finding organizations to support sometimes isn’t as clear-cut as it should be. Which causes are the best to donate? Which charities offer matching programs? Which causes do not pocket hidden fees? Where can your buck make the most difference?
With so many people and organizations in need of charitable giving this year, there is certainly no shortage of ways to help. But these helpful tips on how to navigate #GivingTuesday will make the giving process a bit more seamless and rewarding.
It’s important to remember that #GivingTuesday isn’t only about financial giving but also about people around the world showing generosity and kindness through advocacy, time, goods, and other forms of support. “GivingTuesday inspires people all around the world to embrace their power to make an impact on the causes and issues they care about, not just on one day but throughout the year,” explains Asha Curran, GivingTuesday’s CEO and co-founder of the movement. “With country and community leaders, millions of organizations, and countless givers of all kinds, GivingTuesday provides an opportunity to come together to create a more generous world.”
In the Latinx community, Giving Tuesday is so important. It is an optimal opportunity to help lift the community, inspired by generations of generous Latinas who have given everything for the people and causes they care about.
“GivingTuesday is Latinx philanthropy. It’s a model embodied by our hermanos, primas, tíos, and abuelas who already champion Latinx philanthropy with every hour of selfless support, and every dollar dropped in an offering plate,” says Ana Marie Argilagos, President & CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy. “We fund brilliant young entrepreneurs, street vendors, community groups that traditional funders have turned away, and nonprofits that are innovating to change systemic and historic racism, and we do it all together, with or without traditional partners.”
So how can you give on Giving Tuesday? What are the best charities to support? And where do you even begin?
Do Your Research
First of all, do your research. Getting educated on the various ways to help and many charities and causes in need of support is the first step. Blindly giving might work for some people, but if you really want to understand what you are supporting and where every dollar you provide is going, you need to be informed first and foremost. Websites like Charity Navigator, GiveWell, and Guide Star are great places to start. They do the research for you, so you know which charities do the most work to improve lives per dollar donated.
GiveWell is one of the best ways “for a donor to take advantage of our up-to-date research, as we’re continually assessing and reprioritizing our top charities’ needs,” GiveWell research analyst Catherine Hollander told Vox. “We also think it’s a great fit for recurring donors since it allows each future gift to be used to support the highest-value projects we can find at that time.”
Choose a Cause That Matters to You
Once you understand where your money will be going, consider which causes matter most to you. Think about personal goals, family priorities, and where you want to make an impact. Charitable giving is supposed to be a reflection of how you want to help and what is important to you on a personal level, so really dive deep into what matters.
Find Out About Matching Opportunities
It’s important to note that some charities offer to match donations in honor of GivingTuesday, organizing their own matching grants amongst major donors. In addition, many companies and businesses also offer matching contributions, and local community campaigns often have matching offers available to donors. Be sure to check with your employer and the nonprofit you are supporting to see if they match charitable donations and if there are specific times (sometimes called a power hour for fundraising) when your donation and your dollar could be more impactful.
It’s Not Always About Money – Give Time as Well
Yes, giving funds is essential for many nonprofits and the people and communities those charities benefit. But it’s also so important for charitable organizations to receive support in the form of time and human resources. It’s not always about money — volunteering, offering a helping hand, donating goods, writing a note of support, and helping to spread the word are all meaningful ways to give back on Giving Tuesday. You could share messages of gratitude, write notes to people in need, feed the hungry, use your voice to raise awareness in your community or on social media… The possibilities are endless, and generosity is always needed in many forms, not just financial contributions.
Giving Anything is Better Than Doing Nothing
And remember, giving anything is better than not doing or saying anything at all. Even if you only give a few dollars or aren’t able to provide funding at all, but you choose to donate your voice or your time, anything is always better than nothing. Get involved, get educated, be passionate, and become a helper.