Donating Money Isn’t the Only Way to Help on Giving Tuesday

By Deborah Van Fleet
Ohio News Connection

On Giving Tuesday, donating money isn’t the only way to support the groups and causes you care about.

The global Giving Tuesday movement promotes “radical generosity,” defined as “the concept that the suffering of others should be as intolerable to us as our own suffering.”

Millions of people in the U.S. pledged over $3 billion on Giving Tuesday last year – a 15% increase over 2021.

Philanthropy Ohio President and CEO Deborah Aubert Thomas said by occurring during the holiday season, Giving Tuesday lends itself to a particular type of giving.

“I think the timing of Giving Tuesday really gives the opportunity to focus on the things that we are all giving thanks for on Thanksgiving, things that we know not everyone in our communities have access to – food and housing and just basic human securities,” Thomas said.

Thomas said in 2020 – the most recent year for which IRS data is available – nearly 4,000 Ohio foundations donated $1.94 billion.

She explained that because fewer people itemize on their tax returns since the 2017 tax changes, it’s hard to assess individual giving.

But prior to tax law changes, total giving by individual Ohioans was triple that of foundation giving. And the majority was by households with annual incomes of between $50,000 and $200,000.

She said children can learn about philanthropy by sharing their “time, talent and treasures” at a young age.

“One of the best ways to do that is through community service and volunteering,” Thomas said. “And through that, learning about what the issues are in their communities so that they can connect to what is sort of their passion and where they see they would like to make a difference, both with their time as well as through their giving.”

Pointing out that philanthropy is defined as love of humankind and love of mankind, Thomas said it can start in your own neighborhood.

“Every community and even every neighborhood has unique needs,” Thomas said. “And I think for folks to get off of their screens and learn about their neighbors and where there’s need. I think philanthropy is – it’s a state of mind as much as it is an activity.”

The Giving Tuesday website reports that more than three-fourths of acts of generosity are nonmonetary.

This story was produced in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation

Pictured at top: Giving Tuesday began in 2012 at New York City’s 92nd Street YMCA and is now observed in every country in the world. (OntheRun Photo | Adobe Stock)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.