Every year, Giving Tuesday raises millions of pounds worth in charitable donations. The annual event, which is held directly after the consumer rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encourages people to give to charity and community causes close to their heart – both in money and in kind.
Even in 2020, in the middle of a nationwide lockdown, £20.2m worth of donations were given – equivalent to almost £14,000 a minute and a 43% increase from Giving Tuesday 2019.
This year, the day falls on Tuesday December 30 and will see a whole host of companies and individuals getting involved – a huge effort all around.
The pandemic has been tough on so many people financially, so you might think that it would impact the amount of money donated to charity this year.
In fact, £11.3bn was given to charities in the UK over the course of 2020 – a figure that is also up on the 2019 figure of £10.6bn. That’s according to the UK Giving Report 2021, published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).
However, the report makes clear that Covid is having an impact on general giving trends. As CAF chief executive, Neil Heslop, explains, there has been a stark decline in cash donations and fundraising events are only just returning to being held in-person. Meanwhile, the number of people donating to charity overall continues to decline.
“While those who give are giving more, the sustainability of charities relies on mass giving,” Heslop explains. “It is, however, heartening to note that even as people worry about household finances in uncertain times, giving to charity remains integral to the lives of millions.”
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday over for another year, Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to focus on others rather than ourselves.
So how can you join in?
How does Giving Tuesday work?
On the day, you can choose to support any charity you want in any way you want. You can choose how you want to support them too, whether you bake stuff, make stuff, donate money or raise awareness using the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media.
As the Giving Tuesday website makes clear: “You can volunteer your time; donate money; share your skills; campaign for something; donate goods, food, or clothes; organise a community event such as a street or park clean-up or a coffee morning. The list really is endless.”
Can I get involved last minute?
Anyone can get involved and you can absolutely do something on the day itself. Here are some recommendations from the Charities Aid Foundation:
1. Support your favourite charity or discover a new one. Find out what your favourite charity or newly discovered charity is doing for Giving Tuesday, get in touch with them to see how you can support them.
2. Browse wish lists. Lots of charities create wish lists on online shopping portals or on their own website, for items that they need.
3. Shop more. There are lots of online shopping portals that make a donation to charity with every purchase, like Give As You Live.
4. Give food. Contact your local food bank and ask if they are running low on any particular items, then pick something up the next time you are out doing your food shopping, and drop it off at the food bank.
5. Find a campaign and write to your MP about it. Lots of charities need your support in raising the profile of issues that face those they help.
6. Buy your Christmas cards. Opt for charity cards this year to help make a difference.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.