Black Friday, the Friday after American Thanksgiving, is the most popular day for North Americans to shop until they drop. Since the 80s the day has unofficially kicked off holiday shopping and the highest consumption season of the year. In 2021 US businesses made an estimated $30 to $40 billion in sales on Black Friday, spent by 155 million shoppers. That’s a lot of money. Black Friday is then closely followed by Cyber Monday when deals go online, and mass consumption continues. If North Americans can spend that kind of money on gifts, retail and household goods (aka stuff), we must have lots of funds left over for important things, right?
In 2021, GivingTuesday, the world’s largest generosity movement, began to inspire shoppers to allocate some funds to go to charities and nonprofits. GivingTuesday doesn’t only encourage financial giving. The movement promotes volunteering and community support in addition to donations. Charity organizations around the world require donations and grants to fund the good work that they do. No matter the cause, not-for-profit organizations require sustainable funds to enact change.
We spoke to Tracey Lundell, Senior Investment Advisor at Sea Glass Wealth to learn more as we approach the giving and shopping season.
ROC: Why is giving an important part of a healthy financial strategy?
Tracey: Many of us want to impact positive change in the communities we live in or support causes that we care about. Generosity of giving is a wonderful element of the human spirit, and when we give with intention, we can feel good about our choice while also having a positive impact on our personal financial well-being. There are so many ways to give beyond grabbing our cheque book, cash or doing an online donation. In fact, the impact can be greater both personally and for the cause you support if you put a little planning behind that financial decision.
ROC: What should you look for in an organization you're planning to give to?
Tracey: When seeking an organization or cause to support there are a number of elements to consider:
Does this group move forward the cause you care about in a meaningful way?
Are you aware of the current initiatives they are undertaking and have a vision of their long-term goals for support?
What is their organizational structure and do the administrative costs seem to match the nature of the support they provide?
How transparent is the organization with their intentions, actions and what is their vision in terms of planned outcomes? How (and how often) do they communicate with their donors?
Does the organization need funds immediately, or are they looking for a longer-term approach to their funding (as in, are they raising funds for a specific upcoming project, or are they in need of money to support their organization over the long term with ongoing funding needs for overhead costs like staffing, rent, etc)
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, consider saving some of your hard earned dollars for Giving Tuesday. Instead of contributing to consumerism, those dollars could provide food, healthcare, education, housing or more for those otherwise unable to access support.
After a year of chaos and uncertainty, our mission for ISSUE 03 of RIPPLE OF CHANGE is to spark inspiration in our readers. There was a lot of talk of coming together, acting in solidarity for our peers, and putting others before ourselves to overcome the challenges put before us. Now, we put that to the test.
There’s a lot of pressure in January to set goals, pick back up your fitness routine, abstain from alcohol, open a savings account, and embrace a ‘new year, new me’ persona. But it’s challenging to set goals by an arbitrary flip of the calendar page, especially when you’re feeling uninspired.
The 2022 ski film, Spirit of the Peaks, starts similarly to most works in its genre. A philosophical reflection; a beautifully shot, energetic opening sequence; a title. Then, instead of the first tones of pulsing electronica or rousing rock, something completely different. A headlamp looms from the calm dark of early morning to the beautiful haunting tones of a traditional song sung in Lakȟótiyapi. The singer is pro skier Connor Ryan.