GivingTuesday is just around the corner and it’s a great time to begin thinking about how you will give back and participate in the philanthropic festivities this GivingTuesday, December 1st!
Not only can you donate outgrown clothes to your local shelter, help promote your favourite charity or cause online, or make a direct donation to a cause you care about, you can give something equally important: your skills, time and expertise as a volunteer. Not-for-profits and charitable organizations regularly rely on the generosity of volunteers to make their missions a reality. But not only is volunteering a great way to give back, it is also a terrific way to network, gain experience, and grow both personally and professionally.
There are countless creative ways to get started, but to kick start your giving, we’ve rounded up four fun ways for you to engage in volunteerism this GivingTuesday!
1. Volunteer with family and friends
The holiday season is not only a time for giving, it is also the time of year where family and friends gather together to spend quality time with one another as one year ends, and another begins. Research a local non-profit or charity, and get in contact with them to see if they are in need of volunteers on GivingTuesday. It is a great way to have fun with the ones you love during the holiday season, all while giving back – what could possibly be better?
2. Organize a GivingTuesday field trip for employees, co-workers or a group of students
Field trips don’t have to end after elementary school! Organize your co-workers or employees for a fun-filled, teambuilding day at a local charity or non-profit directly in your office community. In fact, many offices have workplace policies allowing employees to volunteer for a few days of the year as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy.
If you’re a parent or involved with a school in any way, use GivingTuesday as a reason to head out of the classroom to teach students the importance of volunteerism at a local charity or non-profit. Last GivingTuesday, Holy Name of Mary College in Mississauga, Ontario sent students to nine local charities and non-profits in their community to volunteer. Students sorted food at The Mississauga Food Bank, distributed food to the homeless with Toronto Street Walk, and even helped the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in their warehouse in Brampton, Ontario.
3. Probono consulting
On a limited budget,most not-for-profit or charitable organizations would welcome help and expertise from professionals in all areas to boost knowledge, information and expertise in their organization. Legal aid, marketing, finance, event planning, or website management and development are among some of the skills likely needed at a local charity in your community. Whether you offer your skills and expertise on GivingTuesday, or you use the day to kick start a long time commitment to a charity or non-profit organization in your community, use your talents to give back.
4. Sign up to volunteer Year Round
GivingTuesday is a great time to explore different non-profit or charitable organizations in your community that could use an extra hand all year-round. From sorting food, to assisting administrative work; volunteering at events, or assisting outreach; volunteers help charities execute their charitable mission and transform their vision into a reality. Why not make this extra commitment to volunteering year round in honour of GivingTuesday!? It’s as simple as going online and visiting Volunteer Canada’s website to use their directory to discover your local volunteer centre. Either online or in-person, your local volunteer centre will be able to connect you to an array of opportunities and volunteer job postings located right in your neighbourhood. From volunteer grocery shopper to musician, there is a vast array of opportunities out there waiting for you to find. You can take this idea even further and organize your very own volunteer fair in your community. Whether it is on your college or university campus, at your workplace or local shopping centre, organize an event to directly connect non-profit and charitable organizations with members of your community. It is a great way for non-profit and charitable organizations to showcase their impact and work in your community while connecting with new supporters willing to lend a helping hand all year-round. In fact, GuelphGives hosted their own charity fair at the University of Guelph as part of their own GivingTuesday festivities.
Have a creative volunteering idea not listed here? Tweet them to us @canadahelps and use the hashtag #GivingTuesdayCA.