Tag Archives: United Nations Foundation

#GivingTuesday Embodies True Holiday Spirit

giving Tuesday ambassador

Giving  Tuesday

Have you survived Black Friday and Cyber Monday? They’ve become as traditional as turkey and pumpkin pie on our Thanksgiving tables. But whether you are a shopaholic delighted to get great deals or a Grinch who bah humbugs the whole scene, I hope you will join a national day of caring today, #GivingTuesday and make it another day that is red-inked on your calendar.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday (hashtagged because this is being promoted heavily on Twitter) is a national giving campaign recognizing the importance of philanthropy and service to non-profit organizations. Last year was the first time the initiative was launched by the folks at the 92nd Street Y who partnered with the United Nations Foundation, and the outcome was a huge success.

Along with many other bloggers, I am adding my voice as a Social Media Ambassador to get the word out about this special day of compassion.

With the warmth and merriment of the holidays upon us, it is the perfect time to think of charities that need our support.

There are so many ways to make a positive impact with your donation of money or time. Nicholas Kristof mentioned a few deserving organizations in his op-ed in The New York Times on Sunday. You can see how far a modest donation can go to help others. Will you take a moment today to do your part to make the world a better place?

How do you know where your money actually goes?

Have you ever made a donation and wondered how much of it would reach its recipients? How do we know if a charity is all it says it is? We expect that our dollars will  be spent not on administrative costs or salaries but on direct service to its cause.

The reality is that not all charities are created equal, and some are run more efficiently than others. We need to do our due diligence by checking out the financials and business practices before we decide to click on “send.”

Sounds a little daunting, doesn’t it?

That’s why I was very happy to learn of Charity Navigator, a website that evaluates charities around the world. This is an amazing resource that has done the legwork for you and can help guide you in your decision-making process. You can click on the name of the organization and instantly get a handle on how it manages its funds.

Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger explains that we often make decisions based on our heart, which is not entirely a bad thing, but it is important to us as donors to know how organizations will spend our contribution. Therefore, we need to check the data to see how charities are performing and use this information to guide our decisions.

I spent some time on this site and was surprised more than once. I was relieved to find out that an animal charity that I have supported for years rated highly in every category, but dismayed to learn that another one did not. This information has helped me make my choices this year.

I give because

Need some ideas for giving? Lindsay at The Naughty Mommy has some excellent suggestions. You can also get lots of information at the #GivingTuesday website.

How will you give back on #Giving Tuesday?

Disclosure: I have received no compensation from #GivingTuesday or Charity Navigator for this post.
All opinions are my own.

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Save the Date for #GivingTuesday

 

Giving Tuesday

With Thanksgiving just two days away, I am happily organizing my kitchen for the deluge of food preparation to come. For many of us, Thanksgiving is perhaps the best holiday, a time when we can give thanks for our many blessings while enjoying a special meal with family and friends.

In my family, Thanksgiving is just the start of a long weekend, and as traditional as the turkey is on Thursday, so are the turkey sandwiches and football games on Friday.

I wake up on Friday morning before the rest of the house has stirred and putter around the kitchen, putting my good china away and preparing a nice breakfast for my family.

What I do not do on Friday is get in my car and head for the stores.

I hate shopping.

As someone who finds shopping tedious and holiday shopping downright painful, Black Friday has about as much charm for me as the Black Plague. Just the thought of the crowds, the lines, circling the parking lot for the space that never materializes … ugh.

Call me a Grinch, but I’m just not into this time of year when over-consumption overcomes so many. As I get older my buying habits have changed considerably. How many “things” do we really need to be happy?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been recognized as the official kick-off events to the shopping season. And now that many stores have opted to be open on Thanksgiving Day itself, holiday shopping has gotten another shot of adrenaline.

Well, no thank you. This year I’m focusing instead on #GivingTuesday which is next week, December 3, after the trifecta of holiday shopping days have come and gone. #GivingTuesday is a call to action to give and give back, not just one day but year-round, and put personal philanthropy back in the holiday season.

#GivingTuesday is next week.

Founded last year by the 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, the first #GivingTuesday brought together more than 2,500 partners in all 50 states and increased online giving that day by 53%. Pretty wonderful, huh?

This year, #GivingTuesday has set its sights even higher. Campaigns are underway around the world, and right now there are over 6,500 partners!

giving educationgiving timegiving food

The holiday season can and should be about giving and giving back. There are so many organizations that need our support, and why not make this season a time for reaching out to help.

This short video explains what Giving Tuesday is all about.

Will you consider participating in #GivingTuesday and making it the opening day of the giving season?

 

Disclosure: I am a social media ambassador for #GivingTuesday but have received  no compensation.

If you like my blog post, please share it!
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