Thanksgiving, in the United States, is the fourth Thursday of the month of November. Black Friday is the day after. Since 2005, the Monday after is Cyber Monday. Since 2012, the day after that is known as Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday 2021 results, as the world rallied around the 9th annual global day of giving, brought in $39,254,555.
Giving Tuesday’s founders have said it was formed as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” But, Giving Tuesday is not just a grassroots movement, it has a structure, a CEO, a budget, and funding from sources such as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Motor Company, and PayPal.
But this is not unusual. Many charitable organizations can have a structure similar to a large corporation. In fact, Goodwill Industries is actually a for-profit organization with a very well-paid CEO and only a fraction of its income going back to charitable works. The Salvation Army was organized to serve everyone with love, hope, and without discrimination; yet they have a history of turning away those in need whom do not align with their traditional values.
So, as you give this holiday season, please be aware of whom you are giving to and who they in turn give to. There are plenty of opportunities to support worthy causes. Several such opportunities were founded by people that did get rich from their non-profit, but got rich first and then started to give back. One such case is former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. He was wheelchair bound after a tackle in 2017. Having fully recovered, he started The Ryan Shazier Fund for Spinal Rehabilitation to give back to others who did not have the resources he did during his recovery.
This holiday season, don’t give until your heart’s content – give until it hurts, because if you have even $1, or a pair of socks, or a can of green beans to give, you can be sure there’s someone who doesn’t have that much who would be grateful to receive.