At Ethical Futures, we are not just all about making money but also thinking about how you use it and how you can help others. We recently met with @laurenjanus of Thoughtful Philanthropy who helps people structure their giving in a way that truly reflects their intentions. We thought it might be interesting for our clients to hear more about this and also the forthcoming "#GivingTuesday."
This is the year to try #GivingTuesday. Here’s how.
Lauren Janus, Thoughtful Philanthropy
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the looming onslaught of Christmas parties, presents and, well…stuff, you’re not alone. According to the website gocompare.com, the average British household spends £753 celebrating Christmas each year. When it comes to supporting charities, though, we’re much less lavish, donating on average £37 at any one time.
For those of us keen to turn the tide on the Christmas craziness, #GivingTuesday—or 28 November this year—is an increasingly popular way to kick off the season on a less materialistic note. #Giving Tuesday was officially launched four years ago in the UK by Charities Aid Foundation. Today, #GivingTuesday, which comes the day after Cyber Monday, is quickly gaining traction as a social media-propelled day of global giving that unites communities and highlights the UK’s millions of hard-working charities.
Ready to give it a go? Here’s how you can test out a #Giving Tuesday tradition.
In your company. Yes, some mega-corporations like Facebook go all out on #GivingTuesday. This year the social media power house is partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to match up to $2 million raised for US nonprofits.
But even small businesses can get into the #GivingTuesday spirit, and signal to their employees and customers that giving is an important part of doing good business. Ask staff to bring a lunch dish to share and have everyone make a £10 donation to a chosen charity at the door. Have a generous board or leadership team member? Ask him or her to match all staff and customer donations on #GivingTuesday.
Then, share your activities on social media or in staff and customer newsletters. It never hurts to remind customers that you’re the kind of company that prioritizes giving back.
Within your family. Most parents would say they want to instill their children with a sense of charity. Because #Giving Tuesday is so prominent in social media, your kids may already know all about it, or at least be keen to jump on the band wagon. Try asking them what they’d like to do as a family to mark the day. You might use it as an excuse for a clear-out, passing quality used clothing onto a charity shop.
Better yet, ask your kids to forego a Christmas present in favour of a gift to a charity. Make choosing the charity a family activity by researching and even visiting the charity together.
For young children, pick up a copy of The Can Man, a story about a boy who donates his hard-earned money to a local homeless man. Read the book together and talk about people in your community who need extra help. They’ll remember it if you mark #GivingTuesday as a family each year, and it could turn into one of their most cherished family traditions.
However you choose to mark #GivingTuesday, enjoy the one day a year 100% dedicated to giving what you can.