We are fast approaching Giving Tuesday (or #GivingTuesday as the kids call it), which falls on December 1st this year. It is the largest national day of giving, and every year it falls on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
To give you some perspective, consumers spent $52,405,000,000 on Black Friday and $2,038,000,000 on Cyber Monday last year, according to Statistic Brain. By contrast, donors gave $45,680,000 on Giving Tuesday 2014. Thatâ€™s just .087% of what consumers spent on Black Friday. Although it is a relatively small amount, it is huge for the charities that rely on our generosity to end suffering.
Giving does mean donating to your favorite charities, yes, but it also means giving of yourself to others by trying to make someoneâ€™s life just a little bit better that day. For me, itâ€™s not Thanksgiving or the memory of the annual pilgrimage my grandmother and I used to take to Nordstrom for a new pair of shoes every year on Black Friday that kick off the holiday spirit for me â€“ itâ€™s Giving Tuesday.
This year I plan to donate to America for Animals, because their focus on making activism fun, easy, and fulfilling is what I know will inspire people to use their most powerful built-in tool for creating change â€“ their voice. I care deeply about reducing suffering, and sadly, animals are the most abused. Iâ€™ve been an animal activist and a philanthropist for 10 years, and Iâ€™m constantly searching for the best approach to inspire new advocates. The more voices the animals have, the more those big corporations that abuse them will listen. By putting the power to change the world in the palm of your hand through innovative apps, connecting motivated people with lifesaving organizations, and changing the message to that of positive inspiration, AFA is empowering new advocates to use their voices to create systemic change to end abuse at its source. I know my Giving Tuesday gift will make a difference, and hopefully, just maybe, inspire someone to speak up for the very first time.
In honor of my grandmother and our post-Thanksgiving tradition, I also plan to gather up all of my shoes that I no longer wear and donate them to people who need them. I have a tendency to hold on to things way past their prime (these will come back in style one day, right?!), so if the spirit of giving isnâ€™t a good enough excuse to do some closet cleansing, then I donâ€™t know what is!
So I love Giving Tuesday because it really forces me to step outside of my busy life and reflect on why I give to others, which organizations create the most widespread change, and what I can do that day to give something good to someone else. As a bonus, I feel happier after giving to others instead of myself (and Iâ€™m not alone). Thatâ€™s what December 1st means to me this year.
What is it that inspires you to give? Tell others why you give to America for Animals on Giving Tuesdayâ€™s #MyGivingStory Facebook page and you could win up to $500, and America for Animals could win up to $5,000 to do even more good for animals!