Making the Case for Giving to Nonprofits after Thanksgiving

Maximizing this Challenge by Promoting “Giving Tuesday”

Most Americans have just spent the past day experiencing a ‘day of thanks’.  Some took time away from their families to help at homeless shelters, soup kitchens or volunteered at nonprofit organizations to help serve meals to the needy.  But now it’s Friday; we are ready to shop or are maybe back at work.   Will it be another year before we think about serving at those organizations again?

I recently saw the Somee Cards quote stating that “only in American do we wait in line and trample others for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have”.    This ironic statement points to behaviors that are less than admirable, but have become socially acceptable.  The demand for getting the sales after Thanksgiving has led to stores opening on the night of Thanksgiving… because who can, or should have to, wait for Friday!  🙂 So even though we voice our ‘thanks’ for all that we have, our eagerness for more (stuff) is huge!   Come Friday, many of us are thinking about buying for ourselves or our loved ones.  What if we use those sales to think about the nonprofits that we just helped or maybe were not able to help?

This is the beauty of Giving Tuesday!  It is a day to think about nonprofits that we would like to volunteer at or give to after all the after-Thanksgiving sales.  It is a nice addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  As per Charity Navigator’s site, “The goal of #GivingTuesday is to encourage people everywhere including retailers, charities, online organizations, community centers, individuals and families to come together with one common purpose — to help others and incentivize ways to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the great American spirit of generosity through charitable contributions and volunteerism.”

I saw a gentleman on TV yesterday who works at a homeless shelter.  He gave thanks to all the volunteers who helped serve the needy on the great American ‘day of thanks’.  Then he said “But we are open 365 days a year.  Please consider helping us after the holidays are over.”  Are you able to give on Giving Tuesday?  Where will you help or donate come February or this summer?  Please consider it; make that calendar entry right now for June, or maybe celebrate ‘Christmas in July’, to volunteer at a local nonprofit to help at a time when the rest of America isn’t thinking about it.


Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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