by Samantha Trombley, Marketing and Account Executive
Since 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a global day of charitable action fueled by online activism and collaboration. From volunteering in your community to patronizing your local mom-and-pop stores for holiday shopping, there are countless ways to pay kindness forward. Below are a few of our top tips!
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering your time is an ideal way to make a difference for a cause that you are passionate about. The COVID-19 pandemic has led many nonprofit organizations to pivot to remote projects. Volunteer Match is a great tool for finding volunteer openings in your area. If you are in or around Boston, check out Boston Cares for Boston-specific options. You can even find opportunities that match with your professional skills or areas of expertise. From graphic design to accounting and even strategic messaging, skills-based volunteering can help nonprofits build and sustain their capacity to serve their target populations.
Use Your Voice
Using the power of your voice is an effective way to give back to either your local community program or a nationally reaching organization. You can post messages about your favorite nonprofit on social media to raise awareness for its mission and impact. Many organizations like the United Way and the Sierra Club have templated letters for you to use to contact elected officials to support equitable policies and funding for social services. Be vocal with your family and friends about the importance of giving not just on Giving Tuesday, but consistently and with intention.
Many organizations that are in need of goods share their specific wish lists online so you can pick and choose what you’d like to give. Beyond individual giving, company-wide drives are a simple and meaningful way for organizations to engage their employees in giving during the holidays. Nonprofits like Toys for Tots, who SM&C is supporting this holiday season, and the Greater Boston Food Bank host easy-to-use platforms for virtual drives. The Animal Rescue League of Boston even has a wishlist on both Chewy and Amazon to make it easy.
If you are comfortable making a charitable donation, there are helpful resources available to help you identify an organization that is accountable, transparent, and aligns with your values. Charity Navigator, for example, can be used to find information about nonprofits, browse through specific categories and search “hot topic” lists for charities relevant to current events. Once you’ve identified an organization you’d like to give to, consider setting up a recurring donation. A little each month can go a long way!
Supporting Local Businesses
By shopping and supporting local, you’re effectively keeping dollars in your community’s economy and uplifting the one-of-a-kind businesses that enrich your neighborhood. This holiday season, check out your local retailers for unique gifts and treats. Skip the Black Friday chaos of big box stores and opt for Small Business Saturday on November 27. And, while you’re at it, read SM&C’s blog for some of our team’s small biz favorites.
Amid the hectic holiday season, Giving Tuesday serves as a reminder that we all have a part in spreading kindness and generosity in our communities and beyond. At SM&C, we’ve kicked off our own company toy drive and share resources with colleagues for volunteer and giving opportunities. How are you planning to give back this year?