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November 16, 2023

5 meaningful types of giving this season

The end of the year evokes feelings of gratitude and a spirit of giving, with Giving Tuesday at its heart. This global day of generosity unites people to contribute to their communities and to the world. But donating financially is just one small way to make a difference. There are many meaningful types of giving and ways to contribute to a cause.

I always wanted to support the work of my favorite nonprofits, but the belief that only donating money could make a difference left me feeling stuck. Everything changed when I discovered AmeriCorps. Completing a service term allowed me to commit to bettering my local community without breaking the bank. It also allowed me to invest in my own professional development.

While Americorps was a great fit for me, other folks might want to give back in different ways. Giving Tuesday and the season it kicks off embodies a spirit of generosity that extends beyond financial assistance. Volunteering, serving with AmeriCorps or Peace Corps, donating resources, and forming partnerships are among the many ways to make an impact on the causes you care about.

the author and another americorps member serving; meaningful types of giving

Finn (right) and their fellow AmeriCorps members serving with Reading Partners South Carolina


Volunteering is a selfless and impactful way to give back to your community. Whether you’re helping at a local shelter, joining a clean-up event, or mentoring a child, your time and skills can make a real difference. Choose your favorite nonprofit and use your skills and passion to create a positive impact, as many organizations depend on dedicated volunteers to achieve their missions. 


Serving in AmeriCorps or Peace Corps is an opportunity to make a lasting impact both locally and globally. You could serve with AmeriCorps, which focuses on addressing U.S. community needs. Or serve with Peace Corps,  where you’ll work worldwide to promote peace and development. Or, do both, like one of our program managers did. These experiences immerse you in a giving culture and provide lifelong, meaningful experiences, whether you’re aiding in disaster relief, education, health, or other community needs. 

an americorps member holding up a sign that says "I serve because I love to read and I want to pass on that passion"


Monetary donations, whether one-time or regular, are a powerful way to support Giving Tuesday. These contributions enable nonprofits to sustain and expand their crucial work, funding projects, and assisting staff. You don’t need to be wealthy to make a difference; every dollar counts. If you’re planning on making a one-time donation, create a budget for holiday giving, selecting causes that resonate with your values and beliefs. Make an even bigger impact by becoming a monthly donor, even if it’s just $5 a month. 


Donating resources, like school supplies, hygiene products, books, and food, is highly valuable. These tangible contributions can directly enhance the lives of those in your community. You can organize supply drives, donate non-perishable food to food banks, or provide items like blankets and toiletries to shelters, bringing comfort and relief to those in challenging circumstances.

a student receives books from a book drive; meaningful types of giving


Collaboration is a key element of the giving season. Nonprofits achieve more by working together, so consider forming partnerships in your community. Combining resources and expertise broadens and sustains the impact on the issues you care about. Corporate nonprofit partnerships also play a role, enhancing financial support, resource access, and public awareness for critical causes. 

This season, you have a special chance to give back to your community in a meaningful way. However you decide to give, your efforts matter. Embrace the spirit of giving and work together to create a brighter, more compassionate world for everyone.

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