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Giving Tuesday

Tuesday 2 December 2014 Volunteering Advice

Today we’re proud to be supporting #GivingTuesday – the altruistic antidote to greed dressed as generosity. Giving Tuesday is about giving back to the people around you, donating your time, your money, or your voice to a cause you care about.

Last week during Black Friday, we saw people literally crushing each other to get gadgets at wild discounts, wrenching boxes out of each other’s hands, causing the police to be called into shops right across the UK.

Yesterday was Cyber Monday, a day of discounts allowing people to pump money into online stores without having to interact with a single other person. Retailers started the day with the expectation of reaping over £450,000 per minute.

Buying loved ones a gift is supposed to be about giving and generosity, but these frenzies of consumerism leave thousands of us feeling jaded. Is this really our nation’s best example of giving? It looks a lot more like taking. We think we can do better.

Acting on the values of Giving Tuesday – universalism, altruism, and giving back to your community – isn’t just good for the people around you. It enriches your health, wellbeing and happiness. It’s good for your community, and good for you.

Every year we see thousands of students making hugely positive impacts on campuses and communities around the UK and we know you’ll celebrate altruism by taking action with us today.

How are you going to give your time, money or voice this #GivingTuesday? Here are five ideas which your students’ union can help with.

Raise money for charity

Raise and Give groups are one of the most vibrant and impactful examples of student-led altruism. They mobilise thousands of students across the country, raising millions of pounds every year for a huge range of vital causes.

Ask in your students’ union about your RAG group and see which upcoming events sound fun. It’s a great way to try something different and make new friends while raising money for local, national and international charities.

Campaign on something you care about

Your local students’ union will be campaigning on a huge range of issues locally and nationally, helping to make a fairer and more prosperous society for everyone.

With a general election next May, it’s never been more important to have your voice heard on issues which matter to you. Whether it's lad culture on campus, EMA, minimum wages for apprentices, fossil fuel divestment or whatever – you can add your voice to any number of social justice issues.

Give your time to other students

Moving to another town city for your first taste of independent living can be a stressful and lonely experience for hundreds of students. Buddy and befriending schemes run by your students’ union or halls of residence are a wonderful way of having an incredible impact on someone’s wellbeing

Other students might need academic support rather than social support. Ask your students’ union about tutoring and mentoring schemes, and help other learners to achieve their full potential.

Reach out to your local community

Go beyond the borders of your campus and look at ways to make a difference in the fabric of your community. Can you volunteer with the elderly or at medical centres? Can you spend time cooking for people affected by food poverty? Can you get involved with local conservation projects or other green campaign groups? The opportunities are limitless.

Get creative

Some of the best moments of altruism are the ones you don’t expect. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in the queue. Take a huge tub of homemade cakes into work. Write a song for someone who’s had a tough week, and sing it to them in a penguin suit. Leave a book you’ve enjoyed on the bus with a note for whoever finds it.

Whatever you think will make a positive impact on someone’s day. These are moments which #GivingTuesday are all about.

Whether you’re taking action on a global scale, or making a small act of kindness on your way to the lecture hall, donating your time, money or voice can make a huge impact on someone’s day today.

Share your #UnSelfie – a photo of a selfless act – on social media with thousands of other across the world, and find out more at