Donna and Jim Brownstone have been watching their spending closely during the pandemic. Thankfully, their family still has regular income, but there is enough uncertainty about the economy that they feel that it’s wise to be careful. They also remember that Christmas is just around the corner, and they’d like to have a few things under the tree for their kids.
Donna and Jim are thoughtful Christians and realize with thanksgiving that they have been blessed by the Lord. Although they don’t consider themselves to be “rich”, they know their family is relatively comfortable and safe. They genuinely want to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to them.
As November goes along, the Brownstones’ inbox has filled up with promotional material for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Both Donna and Jim are always on the lookout for a good sale (who wants to pay full price, anyway…?), so this seems to be a good time to check out good deals on some new clothes and maybe a couple of electronics they’ve been considering.
Donna and Jim have heard of Giving Tuesday before, but with the flood of consumeristic emails this year, they are feeling compelled to think more carefully about it. Lately they have been considering their role as Senders, knowing that giving generously is one way they can support global missions from home.
The concept of Giving Tuesday is not really ‘rocket science’. It is an intentional effort to encourage people to be generous toward charitable causes, especially after just enjoying the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Donna and Jim are beginning to see Giving Tuesday as a way they could live missionally, keeping local and global needs in mind.
Our Newest Tool
The simple, clear guide to Giving Tuesday 2021 (Just four questions, and the first is really short!)
This guide is not a complex tool, but will help you to intentionally think through and write down (or tap into your phone) your plan to be generous. You can download our printable or fillable PDF “Giving Tuesday 2021 Planning Document” here.
1. Will you give on Giving Tuesday 2021?
A simple YES or NO will get you out of the gate as you decide if you’ll share some of what you have. Thanks for asking yourself this critical question, and if you answer YES, we’re so glad you’ll participate in SOME way this year! (And if not, we hope you’ll consider again in 2022!)
2. How much will you give?
Once you’ve decided to actually give, you’ll need to decide how much. Of course, there is no single answer that “fits all.” Here are just a few options you can consider:
- A particular amount. For example, will you give exactly $20, $100, or $5,000? Pick a simple, round number. (And if you’re able, why not add a zero…? 😊)
- A percentage. Perhaps you would give 1% or 5% or 10% of your next paycheck? Or 50% of your entertainment/dining out budget this month? Or (for our stock market investors) a percentage of this month’s dividends?
- The same amount you spent on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday. Whoa! Spend as much on a charity effort as I spent on myself/loved ones? This may sound a bit radical, but thinking like this leads us into selfless generosity. (You might also consider giving what you saved by shopping during those great sales…)
- Give again what you gave on Giving Tuesday 2020. If you gave last year, why not make it a trend by giving it again this year? How many consecutive years have you given on Giving Tuesday?
- Give again what you did in 2020, but with an increase! All of us are facing inflation over time, and charities will be encouraged if you give last year’s amount a little boost to cover ever-rising costs.
There are lots of ways to decide how much you will give, but it’s helpful to have a specific amount in mind. We encourage you to PAUSE HERE and jot down a number (or tap it into your phone). Get it in your head, and then move on to the next question.
3. To whom will you give?
You may have some “familiar favorites”– people or organizations you know already who would be blessed by your generosity. This is a great option that can help build further familiarity and relationship over time. (Tip: Scan your inbox over the last month to remind yourself of people and/or organizations that have been in touch with their needs.) Here are some further ideas to stimulate your thinking:
- Local and global. There are serious needs in any community, even here in North America. Local shelters for women or men, food banks and assistance programs are serving more people than ever during this Covid pandemic, and resources are strained! Mission agencies and relief organizations around the world will also benefit from the generosity of us in the “wealthy West” who can help catalyze and accelerate rescue and relief efforts.
- Short-term and long-term. There are some projects that need to happen right now, and others that will take years to complete – both are worthy considerations.
- Physical and spiritual. Some people are hungry, and at risk of not having adequate shelter. (I live in Canada, where our winters make this a serious concern.) And as Christians, we are burdened even more deeply by the spiritual needs of people. We desire that all will hear the Good News about Jesus’ saving work on the cross. The Great Commission is central to the purpose of believers everywhere.
Write down your list of possibilities on the accompanying download. Tip: If you have listed too many possibilities, mark your priorities for this year with a star, remembering there will very likely be other opportunities in the future!
Once you’ve made your “priority list” of those you will give to, decide how much you will give to each, and jot that into your planning document. (Remember, your number from Question 2, above, will be your guide.) Then move on to the last question.
4. How will you give?
This step might take the most time, but probably less than one hour for most of us. You’ll need to fill in some info if you’d like to get a receipt for your donation. (Ask the charity you give if you’re not sure about getting a tax credit for your donation.)
- Snail Mail. Some of us still have cheque books, and the vast majority of charities would be prepared to receive your donation through snail mail. It takes just a little longer to arrive (and adds the cost of a stamp) but is a reliable way to give.
- Credit Card. Many of us now prefer to give online. Most charities with websites will have “giving portals” clearly marked with a “Donate” or “Give Now” button. If not, it’s probably as near as a brief phone call to their office. Be aware that Credit Card companies charge a percentage of your donation (usually 2-3%) for handling.
- Giving Apps or Texting. PayPal is increasingly used by charities to help keep fees to a minimum. Also, some telephone companies allow donors to text a donation, and add the donation amount to their mobile phone bill – you’ll need to inquire with your provider to get company-specific details.
You might want the organization or person to know you gave, or maybe not! Many organizations will help you give anonymously, if you prefer.
Once you’ve made your donation (online, or dropped the envelope into the mail) check the box beside the person/organization, and say a quick prayer of blessing: may the Lord guide and bless the use of that donation, and bring good fruit that will last and glorify Him! (John 15:8)
Generosity can be contagious!
And did you know that generosity can be very contagious? While we don’t recommend sharing exact amounts of donations, letting others around you know that you’ve decided to participate in Giving Tuesday 2021 can encourage them to do the same. You might do this through simple word of mouth, sharing the ideas at dinner for your family/kids to hear, or even posting on social media to let others know – not for your glory (BAD idea) but to lift awareness. Let’s lift these ideas about generosity and invite other to join us in generating some beautiful outcomes!
Because Donna and Jim have given before, they know the personal satisfaction they have enjoyed when they practice generosity. After a short discussion, they decided to make three small donations this Giving Tuesday! While they know their contribution is relatively modest, they know that when brought together with others a giant wave of good can lift off through Giving Tuesday this year!
You can download the accompanying tool, “A Simple, Clear Guide to Giving Tuesday 2021” in the Toolbox for family and friends. If you are not yet registered for this, you can add it on in your account settings!
Thanks for taking a little time to read through this brief guide on Giving Tuesday 2021. If you have questions, or would like to include the Global Missions Toolbox in your giving plans, please reach out to our team here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob, also known to his friends as “Mags”, was raised near Edmonton, AB. He met Kathleen Hayes during his studies at Briercrest Bible College, and they were married in 1992. God has blessed the Magwoods with three fantastic kids. Mags and Kathleen first served together on a short-term mission team to the Philippines. In 1996 they moved to Ukraine and Russia to participate in church planting, theological education, and agency administration. Mags has served as Canadian Director of SEND International since 2004.