Giving Tuesday is one of my favorite days of the year. I love that it challenges us all to look at the meaning behind the season of giving, and challenge ourselves to find some moments in the busiest time of year to serve others. In that spirit, here are three easy ways you can dedicate yourself to service today, and beyond. In other words, you can win Giving Tuesday in just 15 minutes today.
1. Make a Difference in a Cause you Care About by Giving to Charity – Five Minutes
It doesn’t matter if you have $5, $50 or $500, the act of giving to an organization that does work that is meaningful to you is extremely rewarding. Here are some common categories to get your wheels turning and power a Google search. Add your city name to the search — you can often find a local organization which will be very grateful for your donation, however small.
- Animals – Shelters, Rescue Organizations, Conservation Groups
- The Arts – Music, Theater, Dance, Fine Arts, Galleries, etc.
- Community Organizing – One of my favorite genres of charities! Often supporting human rights, housing, elderly, and the poor. Homeless shelters really need food, clothing and gift items this time of year.
- Education – Your local schools’ foundation to organization is one. Or how about funding speciality educational programs like girls in STEM, music or language?
- Environmental Conservation – International organizations work hard to clean the air, water and land by working with local groups and lobbying governments. Nature.org is a popular one.
- Health & Disease Research – Try The Parker Institute, which is making break-throughs in cancer treatments using the body’s own immune system.
- Religious Organizations – Maybe up your annual pledge to your church, temple or mosque.
2. Support a Cause in Lieu of Gifts – Six Minutes
In this day and age we have more than enough “things” – don’t we? If you have friend and family that would normally give you a wrapped gift, you can gently request they donate to your favorite cause instead. Open a Plumfund campaign and spread the word. Friends and family near and far can donate online. It’s more convenient for them than shipping a gift!
3. Make a Phone Call to Find Ways to Volunteer – Four Minutes
Ask a local shelter, religious center or charity if they have opportunities this season. If not, schedule some volunteer time for next year. You can also find opportunities online at sites like http://www.volunteermatch.org/. If you have kids, ask if you can involve them!