This time of year, consumers abound in online shopping. They shop til they drop, but find that something is missing in their lives, or they feel intense shopper’s guilt. One solution to this problem is making donations to local charities. However, many people face decision paralysis when it comes to knowing how, where, and why to donate. The lack of action results from the need for more understanding of charities to help and take action. Giving Tuesday is the opportunity to give to charities in the community or worldwide. With the donations from this holiday, families that are in need get to have a holiday season too. Here are 5 common questions about Giving Tuesday, asked and answered.
1. What’s Giving Tuesday Anyway?
So what’s Giving Tuesday anyway? Giving Tuesday can be considered a holiday, just like Black Friday! The Tuesday following Black Friday and cyber-Monday is Giving Tuesday. This year, the date falls on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. Giving Tuesday is an annual holiday, meaning it occurs every single year, and has been since 2012. In years past, this day has been a day to raise millions for charity. New York City is the primary location that hosts Giving Tuesday, but it does not stop there. Participation in Giving Tuesday can be done from home or the surrounding community.
As we approach the holidays, we gear up for our most intense holiday shopping to start on the day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday. With some of the most significant sales of the year, this is also one of the biggest shopping days. Stores are crowded, and lines are long all day. To keep spending momentum, marketers created Cyber Monday, which occurs the following Monday after Black Friday and focuses on online shopping and online deals. Saturday is known as Small Business Saturday at the end of that week, making this week an international week of sales and spending money.
2. Why Was Giving Tuesday Created?
Amidst the hectic holiday shopping, people realized that in this season of giving, they wanted to do something more meaningful, and others probably would as well. So in 2012, Giving Tuesday was introduced by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in hopes of giving back.
The hashtag #GivingTuesday went viral, which opened opportunities for nonprofits all over the United States. Charities use Giving Tuesday to throw events and raise funds for causes. Initially, it was just publicity and branding for nonprofits, but it has expanded across the United States and worldwide. Giving Tuesday became an independent organization in 2019 as it broke off the 92nd Street Y.
The first year of Giving Tuesday, it was estimated to bring in about $10 million to various charities, and the following year about $28 million has continued upwards. With the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no opportunity for in-person events and fundraisers, but donations hit a record high in 2020, with almost 35 million people participating, bringing in $2.47 billion.
3. Does Donating on Giving Tuesday really work?
In 2021, it is estimated that 35 million people participated in the Giving Tuesday movement in various ways. In the U.S. alone, over $2.7 billion was donated on this day, which was a 9% increase from 2020.
Each year on Giving Tuesday, the world joins together as a force for good, giving in various ways. There are more ways to help support Giving Tuesday than monetary donations. People also show their support by giving time, goods/gifts, advocacy, talents, and many more. Volunteering on the day has increased by 11% since 2020 and 8% for gifts and goods. All acts of giving are valued on this day. Join the movement with millions of people this holiday season to unite and give in any way you can.
You can give in many ways this holiday season. Here are 7 ways you can start: Gather donations to give to neighbors and those you know in need. Leave a gift card or cash at a local gas pump, or while you make your own lunch for work, make a second to give to someone who needs it. Kickstart the conversation about a workplace blood drive, or bring some treats to lift coworker morale for the mid week slump. Write letters to your local nursing home residents, or maybe bring a group of singers to bring a smile to their faces. Even small things can make a huge impact this Giving Tuesday. For ideas on how to help your local Idaho foster kids and families, you can check out https://idfapa.org/ways-to-give/.
- Doctors in Nepal gave free ear and eye exams in rural areas in honor of Giving Tuesday.
- NNEDV started a campaign for domestic violence awareness #GiveForDV. They raised awareness and funds in 28 states and territories.
- Dallas Fort-Worth Communities raised $42.5 Million for first responders and frontline non-profits.
- Kids in Chicago, IL, spread holiday cheer in their neighborhoods by putting holiday decorations on the streets. They decorated over 500 street poles.
- IDFAPA- Raises awareness and funds for Idaho foster kids and their families. Clothing donations are placed in the Village Closet for foster children to shop free of charge.
4. How Can I Know My Money is Really Being Used for Good?
In the digital age, it’s easier than ever to donate to the cause of your choice. Many charities use digital means to collect donations and spread awareness for their cause. With the increase in ease comes an increase in the risk of scammers disguised as a noble cause. Luckily, the internet has also made it easy to do background checks and ensure your money goes to the right people.
There are four easy things you can search to make sure your charity is legitimate:
- Look through their history. A good charity will have a history of benefiting people around them.
- Dig through their online presence. Legitimate charities document their activities closely. Browse their social media pages for proof.
- Request and view their Form 990. All charities have to fill out this form. You can request this form and review it for yourself.
- Get Involved. The best way to learn about a charity is to get involved!
One easy way to jumpstart your Giving Season is to start giving with Amazon Smile.
There’s a way to donate to charity while doing your holiday shopping. Most people use Amazon, and that’s part of what makes AmazonSmile so convenient. Amazon allows you to select a charity to donate a portion of your purchases. Amazon automatically gives the charity of your choice this money at no cost to you. You can find a charity that you’re passionate about to select on your AmazonSmile.
Amazon began the AmazonSmile program in 2013. Since then, Amazon has donated over $377 million to charities worldwide. These charities include animal welfare, humanitarian groups, school PTAs, and more. Amazon makes donating effortless for you, the shopper. As you purchase items from Amazon, they automatically donate 0.5% of your spending to your chosen charity. It can be hard to keep track of all your expenses, and sometimes the last thing we think of is donating. AmazonSmile lets you donate as you do the shopping you already need to do.
5. What Does All This Mean for IDFAPA?
As stated on our Home Page, “ the Idaho Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (IDFAPA) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to improve care and support foster and adoptive children in the state of Idaho. We provide resources for foster youth and their families. We seek to promote community education and awareness of issues and needs of foster and adoptive children and their families. We cover all seven regions throughout Idaho and are working to expand the care and support we can offer in each region.”
In short, IDFAPA provides a support system to Idaho foster and adoptive kids and families. Everyone deserves support and care. IDFAPA can provide that, but only with your help.
This Giving Tuesday, take the time to sign up for Amazon Smile and choose the Idaho Foster and Adoptive Parent Association as your chosen charity, and help local Idaho foster kids and families have an unforgettable experience this holiday season.
These Idaho kids and families need you. Listen to their stories here:
The Idaho Foster and Adoptive Parent Association is all about transparency. You can learn about how we help our foster kids by visiting The Village page. The Village is our storehouse. We accept clothing (socks and underwear must be new), shoes, toys, books, baby items, weighted blankets, bicycles, beds (cribs and car seats must be new), gift cards, cash donations, etc. All the donated items are then distributed to our wonderful foster kids. The goal is to give them something they can call their own as they navigate this turbulent time.
The village served over 930 children in 2022, with 120 children last month alone. Visit the page above for more information on how and what you can donate.
*All images courtesy of Canva Pro