Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday shopping and giving seasons. In Southwest Florida, that may have a different look in 2022 because of Hurricane Ian. However, celebrating the holidays with family marks an important return to “normalcy” for those impacted by the storm.

Looking ahead, there are two activities certain to occupy our time in the coming weeks – shopping and giving.

Time to Shop

Norman Love Confections Holiday Collection 2022The days following Thanksgiving cater to shoppers, with three “holidays” offering ample opportunities to buy, buy, buy. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that holiday-related retail spending will rise 6-8% over last year. That equates to $942.6 billion to $960.4 billion in holiday spending.

“While consumers are feeling the pressure of inflation and higher prices, and while there is continued stratification with consumer spending and behavior among households at different income levels, consumers remain resilient and continue to engage in commerce,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.

Black Friday

Friday, Nov. 25, 2022

Black Friday is often considered the busiest shopping day of the year full of bargains and doorbuster specials to generate foot traffic. However, it’s become more than just a day to shop.

“For many consumers, Thanksgiving weekend shopping is not just about the sales,” the NRF notes. “It’s a tradition or something to do with friends and family over the holiday season.”

Although Black Friday is often associated with big-box stores, small, locally owned businesses also participate.

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022

American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage people to “shop small” and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

“The holidays are all about giving, and the best gift you can give local businesses is your support,” according to American Express.

According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses of 500 employees or less make up 99.9% of all American businesses and 99.7% of companies that have paid employees.

Cyber Monday

Monday, Nov. 28, 2022

The term Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 after data showed spikes in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Today, small businesses join big-box counterparts in offering exclusive online sales.

In 2021, NRF estimated 77 million people shopped online during Cyber Monday. Much like retailers extended Black Friday deals over a week or two, Cyber Monday has evolved into Cyber Weekend or Cyber Week for many businesses.

Time to Give

Many individuals and businesses consider donating to nonprofits at the end of each year. Certainly, there are tax benefits that make monetary contributions worthwhile, but year-end donations also help provide solid footing for nonprofits heading into the new year.

There are three steps to the giving process:

  • Choose a Cause: Identify an issue or movement that has a personal or emotional connection – education, health care, social services, poverty, hunger, veterans, animal welfare, the environment, senior citizens or any other cause.
  • Find a Local Nonprofit: Choose a nonprofit based in the area or a national organization with a significant presence in the region. Review the organization’s mission and vision to make sure it aligns with your values. Review the nonprofit’s annual impact report and financial statements.
  • Determine your Level of Support: Monetary donations large and small are immensely important to fund nonprofits. Many organizations also appreciate in-kind donations of professional services or supplies. Volunteerism is another way to donate; those who give their time, talent and voices are just as valuable.

Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022, Giving Tuesday is an international movement created a decade ago with a simple purpose – encouraging people to do good. Supporting local causes through monetary donations, in-kind donations and volunteerism are the pillars of Giving Tuesday.

READ MORE: Priority Marketing’s ‘How to Help’ Guide

Priority Marketing proudly partners with dozens of local nonprofit organizations making a difference in our community. Below is a list of charitable organizations in Southwest Florida that rely on philanthropic support to carry out their missions:

Avow Hospice

Better Together

Bobby Nichols Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation

Boys & Girls Club of Collier County

Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County

Cajun Navy Ground Force

Charity for Change

Child Care of Southwest Florida

Collier Community Foundation

Community Cooperative

Community Foundation

Conservancy of Southwest Florida

Conservation Florida

CROW Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife

Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge

Dress for Success of SW Florida

Everglades Coalition

Family Initiative

Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Growing Climate Solutions

Guadalupe Center

Guadalupe Resale Shop

Guardian ad Litem Foundation

Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties

Healthcare Network

Hope Clubhouse

Hope Healthcare Services

Horizon Foundation

Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers

Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance

IMAG History & Science Center

Jewish Federation of Greater Naples

Kids’ Minds Matter

LARC

Lee BIA Builders Care

Lee County Bar Association

Lee County Black History Society

Lee Health Foundation

Legacy Foundation at Gulf Harbour

National Alliance on Mental Illness-Collier

One Way Out Ministries

Pace Center for Girls, Lee County

Partners in Care

Pine Manor Improvement Association

ReStores of Lee and Hendry Counties

SalusCare

Southwest Florida Music Education Center

Southwest Florida Community Prayer Breakfast

United Way of Lee, Hendry & Glades

Warriors Community of Southwest Florida

Wonder Gardens