- Thanksgiving Thursday… a day to gather with family and friends and express our gratitude.
- Black Friday… shop, shop, shop! Many retailers offer specials… consumers line up early to grab up those bargain buys in anticipation of the holidays.
- Small Business Saturday… a “holiday” created by American Express to celebrate small business owners and entrepreneurs in communities across the country.
- Goodshop Sunday… another shopping day with a charitable message in mind. A wide variety of merchants offer coupons and other specials to encourage purchases with the promise of a portion of the purchase proceeds going to charities of the buyers’ choice. Essentially: Consumers can shop for a cause.
- Cyber Monday… yep, you guessed, it! More shopping! This day is dedicated to online retailers who offer special discounts to encourage purchases from their online stores.
…and, today is Giving Tuesday.
So, what is Giving Tuesday? It’s a perfect bookend to the week starting with Thanksgiving as, this one, rather than be dedicated to shopping, instead, is dedicated to giving back to the community. Families, businesses, community centers and students around the world participate in activities and events to promote generosity and support charitable organizations.
One way a friend of mine, Laura, participates in Giving Tuesday is to post a photo on Facebook of herself and her family holding signs with the name of a charity she supports. (Here’s the #UNselfie template for your use, too!)
Another friend, Drew, volunteers during Thanksgiving week with his family at the Salvation Army to serve meals. He says, “It’s the ‘Season of Giving,’ and giving back to the community in any way feels great!”
And, remember, supporting a charity can be in the form of financial gifts… of time… of advocacy… etc.
In fact, a wonderful way to connect with others is through volunteer work. It’s an opportunity for professionals who might not otherwise interact with one another to Connect. Each individual gets an opportunity to show off their skillset – be it analytics, marketing, financial acumen, handy skills or the like – in a different kind of environment. As such, participants do well by doing good. They develop reputations for their hard work and knowledge base. It may lead to lifelong friendships, career opportunities and so much more!
So, whether it’s today or any other day, consider signing up as a volunteer to work with others on an initiative that means something to you. Donate a little or a lot… whatever is meaningful to you. Use today as your jumping off point and go from there.
If you are already an active volunteer on Giving Tuesday and any other day of the year, we would all love to hear about it! Please take a moment to leave a comment. You can also Tweet about it by tagging #GivingTuesday in your messages.