7 Ways to Give More on Giving Tuesday

GT_2014Web-Banner_250x250_BlueAltGiving Tuesday 2014 is just one week away (on Tuesday, December 2), and JCA is excited to participate in this day devoted to celebrating and promoting charitable giving. Wondering how you can get involved? Here are seven ways to give more on Giving Tuesday.

1. Shine a spotlight on nonprofits.

The simple brilliance of Giving Tuesday is this: it gives people a reason to talk about the importance of charitable giving. On a typical day, you might not feel comfortable using your social networks to post links to your favorite nonprofits and talk about why you support them. But the #GivingTuesday hashtag paves the way.

Why does this matter so much? Because people are more likely to support a charity recommended by a friend or colleague. So go ahead: on December 2, hop on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social networks where you are active and let everyone know about the nonprofits you support – and why they should do the same.

If one of your favorite nonprofits is JCA (and we hope it is), please share this direct link to our donation page: http://accessjca.org/donate

2. Give us a little bit of your brain.

“Plop plop, fizz, fizz…” – well, you know the rest. Most of us can sing advertising jingles from commercials that were on TV decades ago. Odds are that hundreds (if not thousands) of for-profit companies have laid claim to a little bit of real estate in your brain. That’s how branding works.

JCA and our fellow nonprofits would love to be on equal footing, but we don’t have the money for Madison Avenue jingle writers and Super Bowl commercials. However, most charitable organizations do have websites brimming with information about their work and how you can help. So this Giving Tuesday, why not devote just 15 minutes to expanding your nonprofit knowledge?

Here on the JCA website, you can read about our programs, download our annual report and other publications, and find out about multiple ways to give.

3. Infuse your gift giving with a charitable glow.

Trying to buy a holiday gift for someone who has everything? Tired of giving stuff that you suspect ends up collecting dust? Endeavoring to teach your children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews the deeper meaning of the holidays your family celebrates?

Most nonprofits make it easy to give a gift in someone’s honor. This holiday season, why not divert some of the dollars you normally spend on material gifts to the very special gift of making someone feel good. Give the warm glow that comes with charitable giving (and enjoy the glow yourself!).

You can make a gift in someone’s honor using JCA’s online donation form, or call us at 301.255.4231 or 703.652.1511.

4. Give the gift of time.

It’s hard to overstate the value of volunteers to the nonprofit sector. Here at JCA, 800 volunteers made it possible to serve 30,000 people last year. We simply couldn’t have done it without them.

Our board members are all volunteers. So are our SeniorTech instructors and Interages mentors. Volunteers help answer our Senior Helpline, lead activities at the Kensington Club, provide support at our 50+ Employment Expos, and much more. We also benefit enormously from talented interns and the essential, pro bono services donated by attorneys, photographers and a variety of other professionals.

If you already volunteer, use Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to talk about your volunteer efforts and invite friends and colleagues to join you. If you have been thinking about volunteering somewhere new, make it happen: send an email of make a call to offer your time and expertise. To inquire about volunteering at JCA, call 301.255.4203 or 703.425.0999 – or use the contact form on our Volunteer page.

5. Think like a fundraiser.

Giving Tuesday is a way for everyone to be a fundraiser for a day. Spreading the word on social media is the simplest way to do this. But as long as you’re deputized, why not get inspired and take it to the next level? Promoting charitable giving via social networks is great, but your real-world connections are powerful, too!

Chances are, you belong to a group that you could rally around a cause – whether that group is your family, your book club, your neighbors, your golfing buddies, your work colleagues, or your customers. Take some time on Giving Tuesday to think about the groups you belong to and explore creative ways to raise awareness and spur new donations.

Perhaps you can add a feel-good charitable-giving theme to an upcoming holiday gathering. For instance, one family we know is holding a holiday open house and asking neighbors to bring a donation of new pajamas for children and teens living in a nearby homeless shelter. If you want to organize a donation drive for goods of any kind, start by checking with the nonprofit you wish to benefit. Be sure to collect items that are truly needed and that the organization will be able to accept.

6. Stretch a little.

Donation forms typically offer a list of giving levels. But you can always choose the “other” option. If every donor gave just 10 percent more, that would make a huge difference for every nonprofit’s bottom line. And keep in mind: our bottom line isn’t about making a profit. It’s about helping more people and doing more good.

Giving Tuesday is a great time to go ahead and take care of your end-of-year giving (before the mad rush of the holidays) – and also an opportunity to give just a little more. If you plan to give $50, could you give $55? If you plan to give $250, could you stretch to $275? We promise that your extra dollop of generosity will be deeply appreciated and put to good use.

7. Show some “link love.”

Finally, you can spread these ideas for #GivingMore on #GivingTuesday by sharing a link to this post on your social networks. We also invite you to follow JCA on Facebook and Twitter and then share and retweet our #GivingTuesday updates on December 2.

Which takes us back to #1: first and foremost, Giving Tuesday is a day to shine the spotlight on nonprofits and celebrate the power of charitable giving!