• Ashley Perssico

Ways You Can Give Back on #GivingTuesday



GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement. Started in 2012, GivingTuesday strives to be a beacon of good in an era of global crisis and disconnection. It is an annual event falling on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.


According to their website, the movement raised over 400 million dollars in 2018 with 3.6 million online gifts in over 150 countries! Clearly, this day is nothing short of amazing and it seems to grow every single year.


There are many ways that you can choose to give back. So, how can you get involved this GivingTuesday? Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Donate


If you've ever worked for a nonprofit organization, you know how important donations are. They help pay the overhead for the staff, for supplies necessary to get the job done, and for the organization to continue to grow.


Of course, donations don't always mean money. For a nonprofit such as an animal shelter, donations of food, litter, toys, and other supplies such as cleaning or bedding are a massive necessity that would be happily accepted as a donation. You can also donate books to


You can also work directly with your community to make sure your donations get to those who truly need them. For example, in my town, we have more donation bins than I can count, as well as centers such as Salvation Army and Savers. However, when you donate to these places you may not get to see where your items are going, or they may be supporting causes that you don't personally align with. However, there is a well-known resident in my town who supports a local women's shelter/safe house. I often drop off donations of items, such as toiletries and bedding, to her knowing that they will go to someone who truly needs them. This is a great way to give back locally, rather than by donating to a large organization.


Pro tip: If you're going to donate to an organization, use a tool like Charity Navigator to learn more about them first. I've found this to be particularly helpful when I do just want to offload a bag of gently used clothing or items in one of the local bins but want to make sure it's going to a charity that truly does good work.


Volunteer


Donating money or items to an organization can be helpful, but sometimes that organization simply needs more hands!


Donating your time by volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to your community and also feel the impact of your work. Some great options include volunteering at a local animal shelter to clean cages or walk the dogs, spending time helping plant and pick produce at a local nonprofit farm (if you're in the greater Boston area, I truly can't say enough great things about Gaining Ground — check them out!), or serving food to the homeless population in a city near you.


Not only will the recipients of your time appreciate your work, but you'll also be helping the nonprofit by limiting the amount of full-time staff they need on their payroll. Plus, who doesn't want to walk puppers?!


Provide Your Talent


A lesser-known way to give back is by supplying your talent to a nonprofit. If you're a social media manager (like me!) you can help a growing nonprofit get started on social media by setting up their profiles and helping them learn the ins and outs of social marketing. Are you a content creator? Use your skills to make videos or blog posts to supply the organization with, at no charge to them. Even less "flashy" jobs, such as accountants or lawyers, can provide vital support to nonprofits.


Find a nonprofit that you love and pitch your expertise to them. You may be surprised by how much of a difference you can make!


Do Something to Make Someone Smile


This is a good time to mention that GivingTuesday isn't just about nonprofit organizations and giving back to the greater community. You can make a difference in just one person's life by holding a door open, paying it forward by covering their order in the drive-thru line, or simply smiling at someone in the office. Every little bit of good that you put into the world makes a difference.


Share Your Good


This one can be tough. I'll admit that I'm the type of person who typically likes to do good in private. I make random donations throughout the year, will pay for someone's food at the grocery store, or will offer my support to a local organization just because it feels good. In fact, it often feels pretty gross talking about your charitable actions online because it can come off as self-serving or like you are just seeking acknowledgment, even if that isn't your intention.


However, GivingTuesday is a great time to put that theory to rest. Get over your fear of speaking about yourself and just do it already! After all, this day is all about the nonprofits you are supporting, not about what you're doing for them. Give your favorites a shoutout on social media, making it as much about them as possible but of course throwing in your own experience as necessary. The word-of-mouth that you will generate for a nonprofit or local community far outweighs that gross, icky embarrassment you may feel as you click post.


And remember, other people can, and will, form an opinion of you no matter what you do. All that matters is that you know who you are.


Enough talking, let's do some good!


GivingTuesday is one of my favorite days of the year because we get to share all of our favorite organizations and give back to those that we care about the most. I'll be sharing all of my favorite nonprofits on my social media accounts — @AshleyPerssico — and I hope that you'll join me by sharing yours! Let's get out there and put some positivity into the world.

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