Today is Giving Tuesday, created in 2012 as a day to encourage people to do good with their money. The day has since grown into a global movement for millions to give.

With Seattle-area nonprofits facing the staggering task of helping far more people in need while their own funding and workforces have been cut in half, there’s lots of need and opportunity for giving right here in Puget Sound.

The number of people seeking help from health and human services nonprofits has gone up between 10% and 28% during the COVID-19 pandemic, while those agencies as a whole have seen their funding and workforce cut in half, according to survey responses from hundreds of organizations documented in a new study by the University of Washington.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge, so does the need for help from these nonprofits, which are struggling to respond and, despite federal and state aid, have spent down their reserves.

Among those that have been scrambling to adapt are the well-vetted agencies that help our community through The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy.

Before donating to any charity, you can research it on a charity rating site such as BBB Wise Giving AllianceCharity Navigator or GuideStar.


Want to help but can’t decide where to start? Here are some resources:

Coronavirus relief

Here are some of the Seattle-area and Puget Sound organizations and efforts that are providing support for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Categories where you can help include:

  • Animals
  • Blood donations
  • Children and youth
  • Direct support for artists
  • Direct support for businesses
  • Direct support general
  • Direct support for restaurant workers
  • Food
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Research
  • Social services
  • Volunteer opportunities

Homeless service providers

The coronavirus has limited how Seattle-area residents can donate supplies or volunteer with homeless service agencies this holiday season.

Reach out to your favorite organization and ask what could be the most useful way to help. If you’re still looking to give back but are not sure where to start, here’s a list of what some homeless service providers working in the region are in need of this holiday season.

Giving Tuesday’s official website

Use this website to find local arms of the Giving Tuesday brand in your community, including Stanwood-Camano Give, Giving Tuesday Spokane and more.

Washington Gives

Washington Gives, associated with GiveBIG, includes links to 1,692 nonprofits and 49 fundraising campaigns.


United Way

The United Way of King County has been assisting households in every corner of King County with food and rental assistance and has stepped up to a surge in requests for help since March. Working to prevent catastrophe, the group helped 3,100 households representing more than 9,000 people pay the rent from April through October. The Seattle Times Editorial Board shares why United Way deserves your donation.

Other tips for donating

In a year like 2020, choosing where to direct your dollars is like picking your favorite child. Should your money go toward nonprofits providing basic needs, organizations fighting for social justice or a campaign to help local small businesses stay afloat? If you prefer donating your time, how do you give back when volunteer events are limited by the pandemic?

Here’s a guide to prioritizing your donations, taking advantage of special tax deductions for 2020 giving and using your holiday spending to make a difference.