I've long been a critic of one-time donation memes. While they give a boost to many worthy charities, they don't sustain. I feel like they're the empty calories of the karmic world, satisfying for a while, but in the end leaving you (and others) feeling empty. As any charity what it wants, and it wants an ongoing, dedicated, sustainable donor base.
In the ongoing theme of naming the days after the (American) Thanksgiving Holiday (Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Why The Fuck Are We Still Eating Leftovers Sunday) the latest to show up on my horizon is Giving Tuesday. There's a website for it, of course:
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
I will not deny any person who donates to a reputable charity, even if only once. But I beg you to go beyond: give regularly. Find a cause you identify with and help become that charity's lifeblood. You'll be sustaining a cause you care deeply about, a base for them to do vital work. Use sites like Charity Navigator to find charities that spend 80% or more of their funds on programmatic activities. See if your workplace matches donations, or even if they have a program to have donations taken automatically out of your paycheck.
Give regularly, and do good. Wouldn't you rather be a good apple to a worthy charity, instead of a candy bar?