By Brandi Jordan 

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year, it falls on November 29th. It is a day when people around the world come together to support the causes they care about by donating their money, or time (the less talked about option). It is also a day to be thoughtful about how we are able to come alongside those in need and make a difference in our communities.

You may be in a position where you are able to make a financial donation to an organization, but with so many organizations to choose from, you are unsure which one to support. That’s a great problem to have! Here are a few ways you can be sure you’re donating responsibly.

  1. Do your research: make sure you know where your donation is going and how it will be used. This information should be readily available on an organization’s website. Some organizations even let you specify which program you would like your contribution to support.
  2. Consider giving to smaller organizations: they may not have the huge marketing budgets of the big guys, but they may be more efficient and effective with your donation as their overhead costs are usually less.
  3. If you’re unsure, ask: contact the organization you’re considering donating to and ask them questions about their work, their finances, current needs, etc.

But what if you are interested in participating in Giving Tuesday, but aren’t able to make a financial contribution? That’s A-OKAY! There are plenty of ways for you to participate.

Step 1 is the same, do your research and find some organizations (local or not) and see what volunteer opportunities they have available. These opportunities are usually available on the organization’s website, but if you don’t see any listed, DM or email them. Express your interest in the work they are doing and ask them if there is any way you could be of assistance. I encourage you to think outside of the box on this one. When most people think of volunteering (or donating time) they often think of direct service, but maybe you are a graphic designer who could help the organization with branding. A business professional who could offer to mentor or a lawyer who could offer legal advice. Organizations have diverse needs, so really think about what gift you could share with them this giving season.

To help ensure that your donation (of time or money) has the maximum impact, it is important to donate responsibly. This means giving to reputable charities that will use your donation in an effective and efficient way. The Sullivan Foundation is a great example of such an organization. We focus on fostering positive change and community development through social entrepreneurship and investing in the development of creative change-makers. If you are interested in donating to the Sullivan Foundation initiatives,  click here.

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