Giving Tuesday is Nov. 29.
You might be more familiar with other post-Thanksgiving shopping days such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Last year, in the lead-up to Giving Tuesday, I wrote a column about saving some of your holiday funds from the three-day spending spree to help others in need.
There’s something about this time of year that gets us thinking about those in need. Most of us have some cause that pulls at the heartstrings. Maybe it’s the homeless, the elderly, or our little furry friends.
For some, end-of-year tax deductions are an important incentive for giving.
In the last week, I’ve been hit with 20 or 30 email and social media messages promoting their individual charities and ways to give.
According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, donors gave more than $116 million to charity on Giving Tuesday. That’s a huge increase from previous totals.
Between 2012 and 2014, nonprofit software service Blackbaud, and nonprofit crowdfunding services GlobalGiving, reported raising more than $83 million.
Charitable social media users promote the day with the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
Do a quick search on Twitter and you’ll find many people already talking ways they’ll be giving.
Although that number, $116 million, seems like an astronomical amount of money to raise in one day, most of it comes from people making small gifts.
Consider this: during 2015’s giving sprint, nearly 700,000 online donors gave more than 1 million gifts averaging a little over $100.
Good to know that you don’t have to break the bank to make a difference.
It’s also important to note that Giving Tuesday is about more than the amount of money you can (or can’t) give to charity. The trust is, some of us just don’t have the means to give. That $100 goes a long way to paying the bills and buying groceries.
You might even give on Tuesday just by making purchases through businesses with a charitable arm.
For example, Something New Florist in Canfield will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from the Shepherd Foundation’s custom-designed arrangement to support the Virtual Dementia Tour Comprehensive Program. With those funds, Shepherd of the Valley provides Virtual Dementia Tour training for caregivers, health care providers, first responders and others caring for those with dementia.
Oh, and Something New Florist doesn’t just do this on Tuesday. They do this every month as part of their Blooms of Hope mission. The Shepherd Foundation just happens to be the November philanthropy.
If you’re strapped for cash this holiday season, consider other ways you can give. Give some of your time to be a little more prosocial on social media:
Visit givingtuesday.org for more tips on how to give during #GivingTuesday.
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor and chair of the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator newspaper on social media and society.