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‘Giving Tuesday Now’ is a Reminder of How Anyone, Anyhow, Can Give Back

Giving Tuesday Now, all day tomorrow, May 5, is a reminder that there are ways we can give back that don't necessarily involve donating cash.
By Leon Kaye
give back Giving Tuesday

We’ve seen countless people repeatedly open their wallets and hearts during this time. For example, if you’re following late-night hosts including Trevor Noah (Feeding America) and Seth Meyers (City Harvest) online, you’re aware that you can donate as little as $1 to your charities of choice — and YouTube is fronting the cost of any transaction fees. Such giving can accelerate tomorrow, thanks to the efforts of the coalition that brought us Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday Now is about more than donating cash

As a response to the emergency countless individuals and families face during the COVID-19 pandemic, this movement — which has driven charitable giving on the first Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday — is planning for Giving Tuesday Now, which is tomorrow, May 5. Tomorrow's day-long drive will occur in addition to the one scheduled for later this year on December 1. This movement is now urging citizens to donate what they can to help the millions of people who suddenly find themselves in need.

Supporters of tomorrow’s virtual giving drive include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PayPal, and foundations linked to Ford, Fidelity and the founders of Hewlett Packard.

Giving Tuesday Now has four primary areas of focus: support for healthcare workers by donating supplies; continuing to give to one’s favorite nonprofit organizations; helping small businesses by purchasing gift cards; and reaching out to those who are most vulnerable due to self-quarantining at this time.

What if money is tight?

Yes, those donations of $1 or $5 can make a huge difference if thousands join you — fans of Seth Meyers, for example, have alone donated more than $115,000 to City Harvest’s efforts to provide food to New York City families suffering due to COVID-19.

But in fairness, many of us are watching our bank accounts at the moment. A good number of us do have time, however. To that end, Points of Light is maintaining an extensive list of ways in which people can volunteer their time virtually via an internet connection.

Are you inspired to revamp your company’s volunteering policy at a time when your colleagues are working remotely? Common Impact has a resource guide with ideas on how your organization can virtually volunteer from the safety of home.

How can I ensure the donations I make can scale up?

Check in with your company to see what other resources for philanthropic giving are available. You know the drill — many of us get the human resources download on day one of a new job, and then we eventually forget the services available to us. There’s a good chance your company is harnessing a platform that makes charitable contributions easy — services include Benevity, Cybergrants, DonationXchange and Oracle NetSuite Social Impact.

I’ve been so focused on balancing work and homeschooling I missed out. What can I do?

The reality of this crisis is that our way of life will remain disrupted for the long term. So, we can sigh and toggle over to streaming videos, or we can educate ourselves on how we can rethink work, learning and, yes, philanthropy as a result of COVID-19. One of many excellent resources is the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s series “Rethinking Social Change in the Face of Coronavirus.” This series is a treasure trove of articles with ideas that range from how nonprofits can pivot during this crisis to how public-private partnerships in other countries can inspire ideas on ways various organizations can work together.

Umbrella organizations that connect government and private-sector employers with nonprofits, such as America’s Charities, also offer ideas on how to turn your concern and inspiration into action.

Image credit: Ron Smith/Unsplash

Leon Kaye headshot

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye