Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.

It’s hard for me to believe that the idea of Giving Tuesday is ONLY 4 years old. I feel like it’s been around for longer, probably because I got wind of it the first year. Perhaps you have never heard of Giving Tuesday. Don’t feel bad, a survey taken in 2015 noted that only 18% of people across the US actually have heard about this day despite it’s incredible sharing through technology and social media the past few years. So here is some information.

Giving Tuesday was the brain child of a few folks at the 92nd Street Y as a response to the commercialization of Thanksgiving with Black Friday and Cyper Monday. The first year was 2012.

In 2015, more than $117 million dollars passed hands on Giving Tuesday. For 1000’s of non profits, this has become the 4th largest day of fundraising after the last three days of the calendar year which is when most people donate to a non profit.

So how can you participate in Giving Tuesday? Give money to a worthwhile non profit, find a volunteer opportunity, make a habit to actively seek daily acts of kindness.

Of course, you could definitely consider giving money on Giving Tuesday, there are 1000’s of non profits that have begun to participate. Want to find out who is already participating? Visit: Giving Tuesday to see which non profits are already involved in your community. If you live in Portland, Oregon check out Oregonians Give to learn more about our local organizations and help spread awareness.

Money not an option this year? Consider the gift of your time or something you have to offer (a skill or gift you could offer to mentor someone). Although donating money is a wonderful way to off set your buying the past several days perhaps you can also consider where you might want to volunteer some of your time this next year. Spend time on line on Giving Tuesday and find a non profit in your town that could use your help as a volunteer. No matter what you might like to do, from working with animals, with kids, working in the environment or the gazillions of other opportunities you have, make it a goal to begin some volunteering in 2017. Not sure where to look to find these opportunities? Hands On Network and Idealist are two great places to look for volunteer opportunities in your city. You just plug in your area of interest and your postal code and you’ll get some great ideas. If you are located in Portland Oregon, I can work with you as well to help make specific recommendations for volunteer opportunities locally.

When I speakscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-10-00-14-pm to audiences, I often share Maimonides Ladder of Giving. This 12th century Jewish philosopher shares the levels with which we give and suggests ways to potentially give at a higher level. According to Maimonides, helping someone to learn a skill or trade so they can be self reliant is the highest level of giving. So even if money isn’t easy for you this year and volunteering isn’t the right fit, perhaps you’ll want to consider how sharing your skills or teaching someone something could make a huge difference for them.


Whatever you do, utilize #GivingTuesday tomorrow as a way to extend the Thanksgiving holiday and the season of gratitude. Share the idea with your friends and family and let’s make an even bigger difference this year with our money, our time and our actions!