Giving Tuesday 2020: Do Not Announce It with Trumpets

Today is Giving Tuesday 2020. I’m not going to tell you what causes or organizations to donate to. I will certainly encourage you to do so, if you can. My only real issue is timing. Too many people, including charitable organizations, try to guilt people into giving. The timing is meant to offset the holiday shopping sprees of the past few days. I’d rather people help all year long, because their hearts tell them to.

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Jesus, Matthew 6:1-4

Do Not Announce It with Trumpets

Neither I nor my company publicly discuss giving. Not who receives donations, nor how much. I do not claim charitable donations on my taxes, because it’s not about getting deductions. Charitable giving is not a flex for public relations purposes. The way I was raised was deeply in line with Matthew 6. Not just the part about practicing righteousness, but the admonishment against praying in public and making a show of your faith.

For a start, it’s no one’s business but my own. My reasons, aside from a desire to do the right thing, are my own. I don’t want to hear whataboutism; “Well you support X, but what about Y?”. Nor do I want to hear a litany of flaws that a given charity, or people associated with the organization, may have had in the past. I do research. I support groups that do good in the world, and spend their money wisely and responsibly. As should you.

Giving Tuesday 2020

As started off by talking about timing in relation to assuaging guilt. It needs to be acknowledged that there’s a matter of timing regarding the expense of the holidays themselves. This has been a rough year for most people. Yes, charitable giving is for those who have had it rougher than others. Don’t beat yourself up if you prioritize having a nice Christmas for your family over donating a few bucks, especially when money is tight.

Give as you can. All year long. If things go back to normal in the coming year, give then. Should you experience a sudden windfall next May, give then. But do so because you want to. Do so because you truly believe that an organization is doing good in the world. Do it because you believe in the cause. Not because of guilt. Certainly not because you need to keep up appearance. Giving needs to be meaningful to the giver, as well as the receiver.

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