100 Ways to Give Back on Giving Tuesday
It doesn't have to take a lot of time and money to make a difference — even small acts of kindness can help in a big way. If you want to give back on Giving Tuesday, a national day to pause the focus on holiday gift giving and contribute to nonprofits, try one of these 100 ideas.
Helping Out Your Community
Ways Your Place of Worship Can Help the Community
- Use your facilities to create a free "restaurant" to serve the homeless a meal.
- Create an encouragement wall/mural at your place of worship where community members can write positive statements to the community.
- Organize a tutoring program for students in the area.
- Schedule visitors to read to those are who are sick or on bed rest.
- Have Sunday School classes make holiday cards to give hospital patients.
- Collect toiletries for the homeless in your community.
- Encourage small groups to forgo meeting for a week and volunteer together.
- Collect cans to donate to food pantries.
- Have church members collect food about to be thrown out from bakeries and take them to homeless shelters.
- Wrap and deliver Christmas presents for underprivileged kids. Genius Tip: Organize a holiday Angel Tree with an online sign up.
Organize supplies to make cards with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
Ways Your Business Can Help the Community
- Open your office to offer consulting in your area of specialty to those who are underprivileged.
- Collect gently used winter coats from your colleagues to donate.
- Offer students looking for work experience internships or job shadowing opportunities.
- Sell corporate parking spots to raise money for a good cause.
- Speak at local underprivileged schools about your job or industry.
- Host Lunch and Learns for the homeless in your community to teach about coding, interview tips or your specialized area.
- Give money to employees so they can pay it forward with acts of kindness in the community.
- Hold a competition in your office to raise donations for a food pantry.
- Commit to being greener in your office through recycling or energy saving measures. Genius Tip: 50 Ways to Go Green.
- Have employees pay for extra long breaks or 10 more minutes of lunch, then donate the money to a good cause!
Ways Your Team/Club Can Help the Community
- Hold a free garage sale, where gently used items can be given to the underprivileged.
- Have fans bring cans to donate to a local food pantry instead of selling game tickets.
- Host a field day for children with special needs —trophies or medals can be used as prizes!
- Plan a bake sale and sell treats as concessions at your game or event, donating the money to charity.
- Offer a free clinic, teaching sports skills to children who might not have the money to play on teams.
- Volunteer to referee games at your local recreation center so they can lower the cost of playing.
- Skip a practice to volunteer together in your community.
- Visit a nursing or retirement home together as a team.
- Give your referees a kind note and baked goods (after the game is over!)
- Thank your fans for being dedicated with handmade cards.
Ways Your Family Can Help the Community
- Pay for the car behind you in line at the drive-thru window.
- Hand-deliver goodies to your neighbors.
- Make cards for soldiers overseas as a family.
- Make homemade Christmas ornaments with encouraging verses or quotes on them for your neighbors.
- Buy and deliver meals for the homeless.
- Give an extra generous tip to your waiter or waitress.
- Leave kind notes on strangers' windshields.
- Pick up some items to donate to a homeless shelter while you're out holiday shopping.
- Pay for someone's gas.
- Volunteer together at a local animal shelter.
Adopt a family for Christmas with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
Ways Your College Can Help the Community
- Have students donate their old textbooks to a book sale for those who can't afford them.
- Host a dance marathon, where students collect pledges for each hour they dance.
- Ask psychology majors to host free counseling sessions for those in the community who can't afford them.
- Plan a talent show for family-friendly entertainment for the community.
- Hand out free coffee in the library during finals week!
- Organize a meal-packing event to prepare lunches for the homeless.
- Bus local retirees to see a college play and performance.
- Organize college application help for local underprivileged high school students.
- Have computer science majors offer free IT support to those who can't afford the services.
- Have students collect pledges based on how many A's they'll receive — the money will be donated to charity at the end of the semester.
Helping Out Nonprofits
Ways Your Business Can Help Nonprofits
- Donate old office supplies such as printers and computers.
- Donate free/reduced assistance with insurance, taxes, accounting or tech support.
- Volunteer at a nonprofit together instead of the weekly staff meeting.
- Match employee donations to a nonprofit of their choice.
- Donate a day of PTO for volunteer work to your employees.
- Send a promo in your next newsletter for donations to a nonprofit.
- Buy a meal for the employees of a nonprofit.
- Invite speakers from nonprofits to attend your corporate events.
- Run a 5K or marathon together for charity.
- Donate a percentage of each product sold to a nonprofit for the day.
Ways Your Place of Worship Can Help Nonprofits
- Offer your sanctuary or space for a charity event.
- Take up a special offering to be donated to a nonprofit.
- Hold a special night where congregation members who volunteer at nonprofits can speak about their organizations and take donations.
- Have the church choir go caroling for donations to give to a nonprofit.
- Have volunteers offer to help with filing/administrative work.
- Offer to provide volunteers at a local nonprofit's next event.
- Have each small group pick a nonprofit to pray for throughout the year.
- Agree to match donations gathered in a certain amount of time.
- Sell coffee and goodies at morning services to raise money.
- Have congregation members donate levels of money to make the pastors do funny things (like wear a silly tie during the service).
Organize a park clean up day with an online sign up! SAMPLE.
Ways Your Family Can Help Nonprofits
- Have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a good cause.
- Sponsor a child through a nonprofit, and write to him/her as a family.
- Ask for money to be donated to a favorite nonprofit instead of asking for gifts for Christmas.
- Deliver cards to the employees of a nonprofit thanking them for their work.
- Help with childcare during a nonprofit's fundraising events.
- Decorate the organization's office or entryway for the holidays!
- Drop off some baked goods or a surprise lunch to nonprofit workers.
- Volunteer together as a family at one of their events.
- Drive around and hand out fliers or hang posters around your city for the organization of your choice.
- Treat office employees and volunteers to coffee one morning.
Ways Your Sports Team Can Help Nonprofits
- Have fans pledge donations for each point scored during a "charity game."
- Sell special spirit wear and donate the money to a nonprofit.
- Donate your time to a nonprofit as a team-building activity.
- Wear a nonprofit's logo on your jerseys to promote their mission.
- Invite someone from a nonprofit to speak at your end-of-year banquet.
- Host a tournament sponsored by a nonprofit and sell concessions and tickets that are donated to the cause.
- Offer to clean their offices for a day!
- Host a charity night competing in skill competitions for pledged donations to a nonprofit.
- Offer to teach sports skills to children at their next outreach event.
- Tell your fans about a favorite nonprofit's mission.
Ways College Students Can Help Nonprofits
- Have the campus a cappella groups throw a benefit concert with ticket sales going to nonprofits.
- Post fliers around campus advertising for a nonprofit that needs volunteers.
- Partner with a nonprofit and require volunteer hours from your fraternity or sorority members.
- Have your sports teams donate autographed items to be auctioned off and donate the money.
- Have coaches and athletes post on social media to promote nonprofits.
- Post a link to a nonprofit's website on the school website or in a school newsletter.
- Host a discussion panel at your school with leaders from various local nonprofits.
- Cancel classes for a day and declare a school-wide volunteering day instead. Genius Tip: Organize volunteer opportunities with an online sign up.
- Sell special edition school T-shirts with all the profits donated to a nonprofit.
- Poll professors on their favorite nonprofits for an informational newsletter to be sent out to the student body.
Making a difference is simple — now go and make the world a better place!
Kayla Rutledge is a college student who spends most of her time writing, singing for her church and eating quesadillas.