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2 min read

What Is the International Day of Charity?

woman handing a box of food to another woman in a car

On a weekend that is typically known for Labor Day, September 5 also holds another special meaning that affects people across the globe.

The International Day of Charity is held every year on September 5 as a day to honor the life of Mother Teresa, who died on that same day in 1997. The day was established in 2012 by the United Nations to commemorate the tireless charitable work she led against the suffering from poverty and hunger.

What Makes It Significant?

Explaining the greater significance of the International Day of Charity should first start with a retelling of what made Mother Teresa a prominent figure. After taking her vows as a nun in 1931, Mother Teresa began her work in Calcutta, India as a school teacher. While there, she visited many sick children and their families and cared for them herself. She also opened slum schools for children, medical dispensaries, food distribution centers, and homes for abandoned children. In 1948, she left her convent school to devote herself and her work entirely to those in need within the city.

In 1950, she officially formed the Missionaries of Charity. Initially, it was formed to bring together her fellow nuns to help those in need in Calcutta. Over the next decade, their work expanded throughout India. In the 1960s, their work spread internationally for the first time on their inaugural trip to Venezuela. By the 1990s and continuing today, their work has spread to over 100 countries worldwide where they continue with service and love in Mother Teresa’s name.

How Can You Get Involved?

On December 17, 2012, the United Nations officially recognized September 5 as the International Day of Charity. The day is rooted in remembrance of the work of Mother Teresa, but on a grander scale it is recognized as a day to emphasize the role that charity plays in everyone’s lives.

Much like Giving Tuesday, the International Day of Charity is a great day to create dedicated campaigns and messaging around the story and purpose of helping others. According to the United Nations, its primary objective is to “sensitize and mobilize people, non-government organizations, and stakeholders all around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.” While Giving Tuesday may be more widely known, both days still offer great reminders of what donating your time, money, and resources means to everyone.

Even if you don’t have a specific campaign ready to go for the day, reminding your donors and supporters everywhere of your mission is still a central part of the day’s purpose. You can make the messaging specific to the day, or you can use the day as a catalyst to announce your future goals and initiatives.

What better day to begin the awareness stage of future charitable campaigns than on a day that is designed for the importance of charitable work?

Post on Social Media

In order to get the word out quickly, posting on social media is the best way. Your supporters will naturally be on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at points throughout the day, so let them know of what the day is and what it means. Remind them of past campaigns and how their donations have impacted many people, and give them another reason to provide the same impact with another donation.

Be sure to add in pictures and/or videos of past events to further highlight your continued work. As well, ask your donors what they are doing to volunteer their time. Have them send in their own pictures and videos using a hashtag to increase engagement and further spread the word.

Send Emails

If you want to tell a longer story and reminder of the day and your mission, email is perfect for this. Emails provide the space to recall the impact your donors have made in longer form. Like with any other email, people tend to skim through the content, especially if their inbox is full. From the top, detail your story and the reasoning behind the email concisely. Give them a quick background of the International Day of Charity, Mother Teresa’s work, and how it ties into your mission. If you don’t have a campaign tied to the day, still give a heartfelt ask for donations and a link to your main donation page.

Amplify the impact of your future International Day of Charity and Giving Tuesday campaigns. Contact us today at the link below to get started.

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