In a 2020 that, for many, was filled with strife and struggle, this year’s Giving Tuesday presents a welcome opportunity to give back and offer gratitude and support to causes near and dear.
What officially began in 2012 as a response to the retail-focused Black Friday and Cyber Monday events has grown over the years into an international movement that encourages citizens worldwide to do good.
Giving Tuesday was initially founded by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, and last summer became its very own organization, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and PayPal.
This year’s Giving Tuesday falls on Dec. 1, and there are plenty of organizations where your dollar will go a lot farther than it usually would.
The New York Public Library, for example, is matching donations dollar-for-dollar on Giving Tuesday, as is Special Olympics Massachusetts and the Humane Society, up to $250,000.
Other organizations, like the Make-a-Wish Foundation, will triple donations made on Giving Tuesday.
UNICEF, meanwhile, is hosting a virtual fundraiser at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, which will feature performances by Katy Perry, Pink, Liam Payne and more.
The nonprofit Save the Children is also asking people to open their hearts and their wallets, and encourages donors to create fundraising pages, sponsor a child or give a meaningful gift, such as books, healthy snacks or learning materials.
Instagram is getting in on the fun, too, with a special “I Donated” sticker that people can share to their Stories, making it easier for others to donate directly as well.
Facebook — which owns Instagram — launched its Season of Giving campaign last week, and plans to match $7 million in donations made to nonprofits in the U.S. on Tuesday. The company is also hosting two virtual events on Tuesday: the Peace Through Music event at 3 p.m. ET on Facebook Live, which will feature performances by Billie Eilish and more, and Returning the Favor, a Facebook Watch original with Mike Rowe.
For those unsure where to begin, Giving Tuesday offers a variety of ways to get involved.
For starters, you can volunteer your time at a nonprofit — sites like Charity Navigator and VolunteerMatch can help you narrow down your options, as they break down charities by topic or impact, be it breast cancer, natural disasters or Black-founded nonprofits.
You can also donate your voice by advocating for change, give money by offering donations, give goods by organizing a donation drive in your community, give kindness by doing something nice for someone else or give talent by offering skills, from marketing to legal assistance, to a nonprofit that may not have the budget to hire someone for the job.
Other options include donating to GoFundMe, which recently expanded Causes, its program designed to help people drive progress in five different areas, including COVID-19 relief and justice and equality.
"This year, we've seen a shift in giving patterns on GoFundMe — people want to have both a direct impact on urgent needs and help fuel long-lasting change," GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan previously told PEOPLE, which partnered with the fundraising platform to spread the message. "At the same time, the desire we all feel for a sense of togetherness is stronger than ever, which is why we're introducing the five new GoFundMe Causes."
Back in May, the organization took part in #GivingTuesdayNow, an emergency response to the pandemic that raised an estimated $500 million, according to The NonProfit Times.
For those still unsure where their dollars will best be spent, the nonprofit GlobalGiving has a database to help users explore charities and organizations in need, and decide which best suit their personal goals.
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