11.29.2016It is not uncommon for people to give to charity during the Christmas season, as it is associated with selflessness and giving to others. However, one of the newest additions to the giving culture is Giving Tuesday: an event which takes place online on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday and, most recently, Cyber Monday. 2016 will mark the fifth year of Giving Tuesday as a social phenomenon, and it has grown significantly. making the decision of where to donate a little more difficult.

Here are few things to help make your decision a little easier:

  1. Look for organizations where your donation makes a significant difference.
    Many of the charities participating in Giving Tuesday are small, underfunded charities that implement local solutions to large-scale issues. While these charities and nonprofits benefit from Giving Tuesday the most, they are typically hard to find since they can’t afford large marketing efforts. Luckily, you can find them with the help of resources like GiveWell, a charity evaluator that researches and vets nonprofits. GiveWell uses a range of criteria to round up a yearly list of the top charities. If you donate to a charity on this list, you’ll know that your donation is going to make a big impact.
  2. Research the amount that would make the biggest difference.
    When it comes to how much to donate, many of us just check off an arbitrary amount on the donation form. Yet before choosing how much you will donate, do a little research to see how much is needed to make a tangible impact. For example, if you are donating to ShareTheMeal, a company which feeds school children in African countries like Malawi, you may want to donate the exact amount that feeds a child for a year, completing the “other” part of the donation form.
  3. Get involved beyond Giving Tuesday.
    Giving Tuesday is a great initiative, but for effective change, we should engage in charitable efforts more than once a year. When you make your donation, think of it as a starting point to build a relationship with an organization you want to support and learn more about. Afterward, track its progress, sign up for updates and, if possible, show support throughout the year.