The Power of Giving Tuesday and Beyond

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Guest post by Kristy Hayter in honour of Giving Tuesday. Happening this year on November 28th, the campaign is the world’s largest generosity movement.

Giving Tuesday 2023 Graphic

The Power of Giving Tuesday and Beyond

What does it mean to give? To be philanthropic? Philanthropy and giving speaks to generosity in all forms and includes giving gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

To me, giving speaks to caring, support, and to that innate human desire to want to help one another and the world around us. The act of giving back can also be an expression of someone’s values, supporting what they truly care about and the changes they want to see in their communities and world.

Recently, it has felt like the number of those needing support has grown exponentially. So many individuals, families, causes, and communities need a helping hand. It can be overwhelming and hard to know what to do and how to help.

But here is the good news, every day I have the privilege of witnessing the act of giving in action.

I want to share some of the different ways you can give. Everyone has something to give. Yes, even if you don’t have an extra cent or an hour to spare right now, you can still make a difference.

The Gifts of Time and Talent

Volunteers are the heart of our communities. If you have time, there are all kinds of organizations that would be thrilled to have you. You don’t need a special skill or expertise. No matter your age or skill level, there is a volunteer opportunity out there for you.

Advocacy work is another example of giving time. A shared tweet, a signed petition, or attending an advocacy event can help a cause propel its mission or reach new supporters.

Don’t forget about reaching out to your elected officials. They have the power to change policy which can have a huge impact. They want to know what matters to their constituents. You can help ensure the government gives support to what matters to you and help pass policies and laws to protect communities and individuals.

The Gift of Treasure

If your schedule is too packed to volunteer – there is another way to give. You may find that you have a bit extra in your budget or may have a hidden treasure that you didn’t know could be helpful.

Monetary donations are always welcomed by non-profits, and yes, even small donations really help. Monthly giving can provide consistent cash flow to an organization. A small donation, whether it be bi-weekly or monthly, can be easier on the wallet, but really adds up over a year.

Considering donating in someone’s memory or in their honour, for a special occasion. Finding out someone’s favourite cause is a unique and special way to show them that you care about them and what matters to them.

Legacy Giving is a way for you to make a lasting impact on the world, by providing for your loved ones and the causes that matter most to you. Even a small percentage of your estate can make a big difference to the causes you care about, and it is easy to include your favourite charity in your Will.

Do you have a coat that just isn’t right for you, did you score peanut butter on sale, or have you been collecting hotel soaps for years? You can make space in your place and help others. Donating gifts-in-kind, or non-money items, fills real needs for many non-profits and can be a cost-effective way to support an organization and help our planet.

We have only scratched the surface of all the different ways that you can give. No matter what your values are, what has impacted your life, or what is important to you, there is a non-profit out there looking for support.

Here are a few of my local favourites:


Yes, I do work here, so of course it was making the list. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, we help people take governments and polluters to court; expose illegal practices; and shape new laws to meet the urgency of the climate and ecological crises. Read more here.

Vancouver Food Runners

Their aim is to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream – where it will negatively harm the environment – and instead redirect it to nonprofits in Vancouver that work with the most vulnerable members of our community. Read more here.

Vancouver Public Library Foundation

The library is a free place for everyone to discover, create, and share ideas and information. Libraries provide so much for communities beyond access to books and other important resources. They provide warmth and safety for those experiencing homelessness, a place of connection for a new mom, and access to community support for a senior. Read more here.

Dan’s Legacy

I volunteer with Dan’s Legacy, and they support young people with free counselling, life skills, educational and vocational programs. Working from a trauma-informed lens they seek to empower youth to achieve their full potential and provide support right in the moment that a youth needs it. Read more here.

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

They provided a safe space for women and children in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. From practical support, necessities, and hot nutritious meals they support over 1000 women and children every day. Supporting women to make positive changes in their lives by connecting them to a continuum of services including outreach, advocacy, wellness, recreation, housing, and skills development. Read more here.

I hope that you feel empowered to give and I hope that you feel like your gifts matter, because they do. I see their impact daily. I truly believe that every gift and every act of giving makes a difference. Every positive act contributes to healthier communities and to a better world.

Happy GivingTuesday and beyond!

Related: Where to Donate Warm Clothing in Vancouver

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