As this year’s giving season kicks off, many of us will get our holiday shopping done during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, these two mega shopping days compelled nearly half of all Canadians to open their wallets. But amidst the frenzy of racking up deals, it can be easy to lose sight of why exactly we’re buying — and giving — in the first place.
Giving Tuesday puts the focus back on the true meaning behind holiday giving: caring for others and paying it forward. Last year in Canada, $21.9 million was raised for charitable causes on Giving Tuesday, with over 7,000 organizations participating across the country. This year, after many months of health, environmental, and economic crises, Giving Tuesday will be even more critical to people and organizations relying on charitable support.
Research by Vantage Point, a governance, leadership, planning and human resources organization for the non-profit sector, has shown that COVID-19 has hit the charitable sector hard. 74% of BC-based non-profits have experienced difficulty fundraising, and 95% of organizations in these sectors have forecast financial losses. This has left many uncertain about their ability to continue to help those in need.
That’s why we’re calling on British Columbians and our Members to join us in giving back. Together, we can make an even bigger impact and support our local communities.
Source: 2019, BCAA's United Way Workplace Campaign
Supporting Local Causes Important to BC
As a purpose-led organization focused on shaping a brighter future for BC, BCAA has always been about putting our communities first. We're proud to have supported causes and organizations throughout the year such as Hogan's Alley Society, Vancouver Pride Society, HUB Cycling and Go By Bike BC, BC Parks Foundation and the BC Earthquake Alliance. Here are a few of the ways that we’re giving back now, with the hope that it might inspire others (like you!) this giving season.
United Way Campaign
Every year, BCAA employees participate in a United Way workplace campaign, and over the years we’ve raised $1.6 million for communities across the province. This year, we’ll kick off our campaign in advance of Giving Tuesday, in hopes of raising funds to solve local issues and improve lives across the province.
Our Grocery Giveaway contest is not just providing one lucky winner with free groceries for a year; with every entry, BCAA is donating one meal to BC food banks (up to $5,000) to help our province combat hunger.
Protecting Our Home
In an effort to ensure BC’s waters remain healthy and thriving for everyone who lives here, BCAA is currently making a $10 donation to Freshwater Alliance’s work in BC for every new home and condo insurance purchase in November.
Ways You Can Get Involved this Giving Tuesday
There are so many ways you can get involved in Giving Tuesday. Whether you’re giving time or money to a cause close to your heart or joining forces with friends and family to fundraise for an organization in your community, every little bit of kindness counts during these challenging times.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Check out United Way’s iVolunteer platform or Vantage Point’s GoVolunteer platform for volunteer opportunities that match your interests, including many options that can be done virtually. Some of the opportunities include writing, fundraising, preparing and delivering food hampers, dog walking, and gardening. There’s truly something for everyone.
- Raise funds or raise awareness for an organization or issue you care about. Many fundraising platforms, such as Canada Helps and Charitable Impact, make it easy to give to your favourite causes or to start your own campaign and get others involved in the giving.
- Put the focus on giving over receiving with this kindness calendar that lets you count down the holiday season like an advent calendar with ideas for daily acts of kindness. Challenge your family to a month of acts of kindness!
- Write letters or send holiday cards to seniors who may not get to see their families this season. We’re inspired by our Associate Manager, Rewards, Megan Sadler, who joined up with other members of a youth leadership program to launch the Letters for Better Days initiative, encouraging members of the community and BCAA employees to write letters of compassion and hope for seniors isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Help brighten someone’s day by adding your own letter to the 100+ already received. Until December 18, 2020, you can send your letter to a senior by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send a personalized charity gift card to friends and family and encourage them to give to their charity of choice.
- Join BCAA in giving to your local United Way.
- Join the Giving Tuesday Movement and look for more ideas on how to get involved.
We hope you’ll join us in making this year’s Giving Tuesday the biggest and best ever. Every action, big or small, can make a difference for good. Happy giving season to all!