Are you setting your alarm for Black Friday? Checking your Internet connection for Cyber Monday? What about getting ready for #GivingTuesday? That’s right—this year, there’s a new post-Thanksgiving “holiday” to take part in, and it’s happening on December 3rd.
The #GivingTuesday campaign was started last year by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, and it takes place the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The campaign’s goal is to promote giving and donating after two of the year’s biggest shopping days. The campaign encourages individuals, businesses, and communities to organize or participate in charitable activities.
Though the #GivingTuesday website is a great place to start, you can’t donate to the website directly. You must donate through a partner, which includes non-profits or for-profit schools, businesses, or groups whose work or project benefits a registered charity or non-profit. #GivingTuesday provides an extensive list of partners, with thousands available in all 50 states, so it’s easy to pick the one you want to help out. Here are some ideas to get you started:
AIDS United—National AIDS day is December 1st; extend the goodwill a few more days and donate to AIDS United. The association has been working to end the AIDS epidemic within the United States, working for prevention, awareness, advocacy, and access to health services for at-risk and affected populations.
American Red Cross—Make your #GivingTuesday international and give back to the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda. The Red Cross has been an important presence in the area since the typhoon, setting up blood banks, coordinating disaster relief efforts, and organizing food distribution.
Donating isn’t the only way to participate; the campaign is a social movement, after all! It’s easy to share #GivingTuesday on Facebook and Twitter. #GivingTuesday has even made its way to Instagram: the “UNselfie” movement asks Instagram users to take a picture of someone volunteering, making a donation, or doing any unselfish act, and to post the picture with the hashtag #UNselfie and #givingtuesday.
There are thousands of partners participating and any one of them could use your help. But help doesn’t only come in the form of a donation; you can help by spreading the word, so share #GivingTuesday with your friends.