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Making case for Giving Tuesday

This year, it starts with a small family Thanksgiving.

Although I love seeing my extended family, there’s something special this year about not having to cook and clean up after a small army. I’m hopeful we’ll be back together next year, all vaccinated and COVID-19-free.

This year, we’ll check Black Friday deals from a distance, and shop our favorite local spots on Small Business Saturday.

Sunday, we’ll rest before scrolling for Cyber Monday deals.

While all of this family time and shopping is exhausting, I often wonder if the importance in which we’ve ordered our annual spending spree is somehow backward.

One of my favorite days of the giving season is literally named Giving Tuesday. It’s the last of what feels like four or five days of buying stuff. And yet those who need my gifts most have to wait until Tuesday? Why isn’t Giving Tuesday first on the calendar?

To some, Black Friday always feels a little like giving. What we’re buying isn’t for us. They’re the gifts we plan to give. We’re just trying to score a few deals on TVs and smart phones.

Small Business Saturday feels a bit like giving by staying local, or supporting those smaller online storefronts that are doing their best to battle for our attention against big box stores.

Of course, it always feels good to hit the small shops in our communities any day of the year, not just the Saturday after Turkey Day.

The same is true for Giving Tuesday. It feels good, and it’s the right thing to do regardless of where we are on the calendar.

But while Giving Tuesday is on the kickoff dates to holiday spending, it’s last. This doesn’t mean that we can only hope to have something left to give after all that spending. It’s more about planning ahead. I hope that, as I write this, we’ve all saved a little to give back, whether it’s on Tuesday or some other day this year.

This year, 2020, has turned into the Dumpster fire of the 21st century. People are hurting, and so our family is committed to giving a little more when and where we can. We don’t have much, but what we do, we give to charities we value, organizations that help our communities.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve written about organizations where we give. Donors Choose. Common Sense Media. These are charities that rely on technology and a robust online presence to generate operational funds. But the truth is, there are many other organizations that deserve our attention. They just don’t have flashy, organized social media platforms.

That doesn’t make them any less worthy.

According to Ben Cipollini, manager of data insight for Classy, once we’re giving, we’re hooked.

“Giving Tuesday donors are 60 percent more likely to give multiple times on that one day compared to donors who give on a typical day or during disaster relief, and 150 percent more likely to give multiple times in one day than on other days during end-of-year fundraising,” Cipollini said.

As you wrap up your holiday deal spending, hold back a few bucks for giving. Nonprofits have made it easier to give, and you don’t even have to wait for Tuesday. Search #givingtuesday today and you’ll find more than a few who need our help right now.

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