What is Giving Tuesday?
In the days after Thanksgiving, Americans spend record-breaking amounts of money as a way to kick off the holiday shopping season. In 2018, collective spending was over $6.22 billion in online sales alone, and that number is expected to grow exponentially in 2019.
In 2012, New York City’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation created Giving Tuesday to inspire people to give back to their communities after a weekend of extravagant shopping and spending. Over $380 million was raised in the U.S. on last year’s Giving Tuesday.
If you’re looking for another way to make a difference as a financial advisor or agent, Giving Tuesday is a great option. Whether you make a donation on behalf of yourself or your practice or you organize a fundraiser and invite your clients and network to donate, giving back has a lot of positive benefits.
How Financial Advisors & Agents Can Give Back
To maximize your charitable impact, you can invite your clients to participate in a fundraiser or food or toy drive. While Giving Tuesday is typically celebrated with monetary donations, there is no wrong way to make a difference in the lives of others.
The first question you may be asking yourself is where to begin. Well, that’s a great question! The first step is choosing a worthy cause or organization. Maybe there is a nonprofit in your area whose mission is one you value. Maybe there is a larger state or national organization doing good work elsewhere in the country or the world – there is no right or wrong answer to this question.
If you’d like to make it a full-practice affair, consider getting feedback on which cause you support from your clients, particularly if you have a client advisory board. People will be more motivated to contribute to a cause they care about.
If you have concerns about donating to an ethical cause, sites like Charity Navigator can help you determine which organizations are doing good work, so you know exactly where your money is going.
Once you’ve chosen a cause or organization to support, you need to set goals and a timeline. How long will this fundraiser last? Do you have a target amount of money or toys or food to donate? Also think about what your practice will contribute – a fixed amount, matched donations, or something else.
Once you’ve worked out the details, it’s time to spread the word. Let your clients know via social media, an email blast, or in their regular meetings with you that you are collecting donations for Giving Tuesday. Remind them of the potential tax benefits of donating to charity, but also keep in mind the new rules for charitable giving that came along with the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. There are several different types of charitable giving, and each comes with its own regulations and limitations.
After the Fundraiser Closes
As the donations roll in, be sure to keep track of who’s contributed what, so you can send personal thank you notes to your generous clients. It’s just one more way of making them feel valued and recognized for their participation.
These are just a few ideas for helping you help others this holiday season – like we said, there is no right or wrong way to give back. With some careful thought and a little generosity, we can make a big difference in the lives of others this year.