When I was young, I remember that all of the major holidays were known as Hallmark Holidays. It made me proud that one of my hometown companies had so much power when it came to bringing so much joy to people. Now, with the advent of social media, naming holidays has become big business for more and more organizations. In fact, the days and weeks leading up to and after Thanksgiving seem to have taken on a life of their very own. We now have FriendsGiving, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and, of course, #GivingTuesday.
Yep, #GivingTuesday – a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
Now, the truth is, I hope that it doesn’t require a special day during the year to remind us to give, give, give. I believe firmly that in networking and in life, the more you give, the so much more you get! I’m not talking about quid pro quo… I’m talking about unabashed generosity without strings attached. And, frankly, most people I know do this. However, as long as we’re calling out a cyber holiday to celebrate giving, count me in!
Not sure how to participate? Think of the “three T’s” and you’ll be on your way:
Time: Pick an organization and go volunteer! It could be any cause in your community that has meaning for you. Consider sorting food at a local pantry… serving meals to the homeless… assisting at a charitable thrift shop… driving a senior to a doctor’s appointment… reading to children… the possibilities are endless. I encourage you to participate in these activities with others – could be colleagues, family, friends… even perfect strangers. It’s fun to do good with others and your time will certainly be cherished!
Talent: A participant in one of my recent workshops emailed me last week with the following comment:
I moved here three years ago and have buried myself in work. It’s time I gave back to the community, in the past I have been involved in boards helping children and the arts. I am wanting to expand my networking opportunities and spend some of my time, talent and treasure to causes that are in my wheel house. Do you happen to have any recommendations or know of any non-profits that need volunteers experienced in fundraising and finance?
It was one of the coolest messages I have ever received and I was instantly impressed by her inquiry, generosity and presence of mind to know how important her contribution would be. Do you possess a particular skill that would be highly valued by a worthy organization in your community? Get out there and give some of that goodness away!
Treasure: Let’s face it – life gets expensive. And, for charitable organizations, it is particularly difficult to do the good work they do without proper funding. Select a few organizations for which your financial contribution would make a real difference and then offer your support. In many cases, one “large” gift of a size meaningful to you often is more useful than many small gifts to several organizations. Either way, your engagement with one or more organizations who do work you care about will be greatly appreciated. And, don’t forget – many employers offer matching gifts to some nonprofit organizations – be sure to see if your gift qualifies!
How are you participating in #GivingTuesday? Please take a moment and comment at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.