While Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become global phenomena, the concept of Giving Tuesday has not reached the world’s consciousness (outside of America) in quite the same way. It has, however, reached Twitter, where the hashtag #GivingTuesday is currently trending, while some brands have decided to participate, presenting charitable offers as opposed to the dramatic discounts seen over the Black Friday weekend. As Angharad Thomas, from the Charities Aid Foundation, told BBC News: “Giving Tuesday started in America on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. Christmas shopping is a great thing but if there's one day to think about doing something for charity, this is it. If you have a little bit of money left, it's great to donate. But it's equally about doing something kind and talking or posting on social media about good causes."
There is a Giving Tuesday website, outlining exactly how to help and which charities have signed up to the initiative. It’s not simply about donating money, either – if you’re not in the position to do this, there is a wealth of information on other ways in which you can help.
In addition, several brands are taking part in their own way – from charities to high-street shops. From Christmas cards to party shoes, here are some of the ways in which you can buy whatever you need, while also taking an active part in Giving Tuesday…
The brand will offer 10% off to all customers, with a further 10% of all sale proceeds going to Women For Women International. Just use code WOMEN10 at the checkout. Grab a party frock; give to charity. Sounds like a win-win situation.
Women For Women International
As well as working with LK Bennett, the charity is running its own separate campaign of matched giving. Every pound donated until midnight tonight (Tuesday 27 November) will be matched by Women For Women International’s donors, which means that you could potentially double the impact of your donation, at no extra cost. Here’s an idea of what that could mean in real terms:
£15 becomes £30: enough to buy vegetable seeds to plant 60 acres of land. Women on the agricultural training programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other countries learn sustainable farming techniques to maximise production and build businesses, improving their incomes and food security.
£30 becomes £60: the cost of a sewing machine for women training as tailors in the DRC.
£50 becomes £100: this could be spent on support and mentoring for women to set up savings and loans groups. These groups enable women to take out loans from each other to develop their businesses and deal with emergencies and unexpected circumstances – helping entire families and communities become more resilient.
Beauty brand This Works is donating £1 per order to homeless charity Shelter, which will continue throughout the week. A lovely way to do some Christmas shopping, while also giving to a very worthwhile cause indeed.
Champion has partnered with London Youth for Giving Tuesday to create a range of T-shirts designed to combat negative youth stereotypes. Entitled Champion London Youth, the range is inspired by the stories of five young people who have had to work to overcome certain stereotypes and who have done so with the help of clubs and organisations, all a part of London Youth. Available in the London Champion store as well as online at Urban Outfitters, all profits will be donated to London Youth to help fund the charity’s arts, sports development, youth social action, employability and outdoor-learning programmes.
The charity Help Refugees opened its first physical Choose Love shops in London, New York and online, where shoppers are invited to purchase gifts such as hygiene packs, emergency blankets, tents and school bags, which will be distributed by Help Refugees and its partners across Europe and the Middle East. Shoppers will also be able to buy sleeping bags for homeless groups in the UK and America, mother-and-baby bundles (which include nappies and bodysuits) and make donations to women’s groups. You can also opt to buy legal aid, accomodation and top-up phones for those in need, while for £599 you can buy the entire store. Read more about the Choose Love stores here.
While this isn't strictly a Giving Tuesday-related initiative, it's one that deserves our attention. Linkey, the social enterprise established to help the homeless, has created a Secret Santa Gift, available for just £12. It consists of essential items such as hats, gloves, socks, and hand-warmers, among other things, and they will be distributed to those sleeping rough, as well as in homeless shelters. Given the news this week that at least 320,000 people in the UK are currently homeless, this initiative could not be more important.
Cards for Charity
If you’re starting to think about sending out your Christmas cards, it’s worth considering Cards For Charity, a website that sells a whole host of designs, all giving money to various different charities and organisations. Its member charities include Age UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie, as well as many others.
Save The Children
Now an annual event, Save The Children has teamed up with Selfish Mother, once again, to create a range of (non-naff) Christmas jumpers. Available to pre-order now, 50% of the retail price (£55) goes straight to Save The Children, to help bring essentials like healthcare, education, protection and food to the millions of children around the world who are missing out on the most basic support. Over the last two years, Selfish Mother has raised over £100K for the charity. What’s great is that the jumpers aren’t so Christmassy you can’t wear them during the rest of the year, making £55 a sound investment all around.