How to turn Giving Tuesday into Giving Everyday: Ideas for year-round acts of kindness

Giving Tuesday logo

Giving Tuesday logo

December 2, 2014 | by Wendy Ho

With the passing of two big bargain bonanzas (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) comes Giving Tuesday — a day dedicated to giving back and doing good in our communities. I’m a big believer of year-round acts of kindness, which got me thinking: how can the giving spirit live on throughout the other 364 days?

Here are five ideas to help you with giving resolutions all year round:

Gentle hands

Gentle hands

1. Commit to doing selfless things

Giving back can begin right at home, school or the office. It is about the everyday choices we make. And gifts with the biggest impact are not always monetary. Sometimes, it could mean simply lending a hand in our environment or community.

Consider volunteering or helping out a community kitchen as an opportunity to tune in and help out in your neighbourhood. Volunteering is also a great way to meet like-minded people and become part of your community.

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), there are plenty of opportunities to give back to nature and gain valuable first-hand experience in conservation by becoming a Conservation Volunteer.

Pre-loved stereo set (Photo by NCC)

Pre-loved stereo set (Photo by NCC)

2. Give your pre-loved items a new home

Most of us have purchased or inherited items that rarely get used or have served their purpose and are now collecting dust. Have you ever considered that they could be much more useful elsewhere?

Some charitable organizations may accept gifts in kind such as office supplies and equipment. Social media and online classifieds can help you connect with people and organizations that have such needs.

At the very least, during your next de-clutter session, consider where some of your pre-loved goods may be wanted and make an effort to get them to where the need is!

Cupcake Day at NCC's National office, ON (Photo by NCC)

Cupcake Day at NCC's National office, ON (Photo by NCC)

3. Host a pay it forward party

Back in October, NCC’s National office hosted Cupcake Day. What started out as the office bake sale was given a special touch by one staffer who paid for cupcakes for several in the office — no strings attached. Before we knew it, the movement caught on like wildfire and we were all paying it forward, buying each other treats anonymously. The office was filled with sweet aromas and radiant smiles.

It was a simple gesture, but it was an easy and fun-filled way to make someone’s day.

The point is, it just takes one person to inspire a domino effect of “giving-it-forward.” Maybe you’ll give it forward by helping a family member with a chore or offering to shovel the snow for a neighbour. The next time somebody repays you for something, consider asking them to pay it forward to someone else instead.

4. Become a conscious consumer

When we make socially and environmentally conscious purchases, we’re also supporting the businesses and organizations trying to make a difference where they work. As more corporations realize the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR), consumers are given the opportunity to choose services and goods that are ethically and environmentally sourced and produced. Some CSR strategies may include dedicating a percentage of sales revenue to the community or engaging in dollar-matching campaigns to raise funds and awareness for causes.

Whatever the form or fashion, we can now directly and indirectly give back by being a conscious consumer!

5. Give gifts that give twice

Many charities offer symbolic gift options for every occasion, from holiday greetings, to wedding gifts to honorary tributes. Symbolic gifts are a great way to invest in the organizations whose cause that matters to your loved ones.

Your turn!

We certainly hope this brief list sparks some ideas on how we can show kindness to our world with simple, everyday choices. How do you keep the spirit of giving alive year round? 

Happy Giving Tuesday, and happy Giving Everyday!

Wendy Ho (Photo by NCC)

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada's editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

More by this author »