We are participating in #GivingTuesdayNow on Tuesday 5th May. Tim Howarth, UWS CEO, shares the importance of the day and the impact of giving during a crisis.

We are living in extraordinary times and for many, these are really tough times. Business owners are facing unprecedented volatility and uncertainty, economies are faltering and some sectors have completely ground to a halt. This is directly affecting billions of people around the world - and may well do for many months and years to come. Barriers have been put up between friends, families, colleagues and clients.

During tough times it is often the most vulnerable and those that are least well-off who suffer the most.  This also means this is a tough time for charities and not for profit organisations too. Our services are required more in times of uncertainty and downturn - and yet income streams in our sector are under great pressure.  

So how can we respond? In the current climate, being empowered to reduce the barriers that have been put up between us feels not just right but essential - human beings by their nature are social.   

Education is almost always best done in a collaborative manner. Even our community schools in Cambodia, Myanmar and Nepal are only successful because we have the collective commitment of the community. Looking after each other is hard wired into our DNA. And right now, we need to look after our global community.

On Tuesday it is Giving Tuesday Now, a new global day of unity. This has been scheduled in addition to the annual Giving Tuesday which happens in December as an emergency response to the need caused by COVID-19. 

Research and multiple studies have indicated that giving can be more of a positive experience than spending money yourself.  In time of crisis, for members of society who are able to give, their impact will be greater than ever.

Last weekend I personally took part in the 2.6 challenge, an event organised to replace the postponed London marathon (all 26 miles of it). Inspired by some challenges set by UWS supporters, I completed 26 mini-challenges during the day, which were great fun and often involved the family. The challenges continue until Giving Tuesday. At time of writing, this day of fun (because fund-raising can be fun, right?) has resulted in some amazing giving so far - over £3,000 (US$4,000).  

We can all look forward to Giving Tuesday. If you do decide to make a gift to any cause, feel proud - our responsibility as not-for-profit leaders is to make sure that every £ or $ given has the greatest possible positive impact on those most in need. 

Which means ... put simply ... we will get through these tough times together.

This #GivingTuesdayNow you can support the global fight against Coronavirus by donating to our emergency appeal.