As the lights begin to go up, the wreaths go out and the candles start appearing in our windows, we are reminded that the festive period is nearly upon us.
Now, trust me, you don’t need to tell me twice that the thought of Christmas can spark joy and panic in roughly equal measure. So, for those of you that are struggling to think of something to gift a friend who seemingly has everything, a distant relative you only ever see at weddings, or (perhaps most terrifying of all) an enthusiastic colleague who has suggested work Secret Santa, why not consider giving the gift of charity this festive season and help support young people around the world to make meaningful, lasting change.
Double your impact by supporting our campaign Business Skills for Young Leaders, where all donations made between midday on Tuesday 29 November and Tuesday 6 December will be matched pound for pound by our generous match donors and will go towards providing vital education, business classes and life skills training to young people around the world.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, December is a time for kindness and generosity, so why not consider Giving Big and supporting young leaders this festive season?
Not convinced? No problem, here are 7 reasons why we think you won’t want to miss out:
1. A Gift with a Difference
For those of you who wait until the eleventh hour to make a panicked trip to Oxford Street on the 24 December, donating to Restless Development this month will make your Christmas experience endlessly more enjoyable. Why not ditch the stocking fillers and bath bombs you regret buying every year and give the gift of Youth Power this Christmas?
Just £4 could provide a girl with entrepreneurship and financial literacy training in Sierra Leone, equipping her with the business skills and opportunities needed to shape her own future.
2. Backed by Science
We all know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get after donating to a cause you care about, volunteering your time or skill for charity, or fundraising on behalf of others. But did you know that giving what you can is scientifically proven to make you happier?
Research from leading scientists at Harvard University has shown that donating money to charity can be measurably linked to increased happiness and a study led by the Institute of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, creating a ‘warm glow’ effect.
So, there you have it, supporting young leaders this Christmas is scientifically proven to make you feel great!
3. The Gift that Keeps on Giving
If you choose to donate to Restless Development through the Big Give today, your gift will be matched pound for pound by one of our generous match donors making it easier than ever for your impact to go twice as far.
But that’s not all! Not only will your donation be doubled, but if you are Gift Aid eligible, you can increase the value of your donation by a further 25% at no additional cost to you! That means that through just one donation, you can increase your impact by 125% (now that’s the kind of maths I like!) and be part of a global community of changemakers.
4. Solidarity not Charity
Our approach at Restless Development is not about charity, it is about working side by side to invest in young leaders who are changing their own lives and the lives of others in their communities for the better.
We support young people, like Ilumbo from Tanzania, to multiply sustainable community-led change. After dropping out of school at a young age, Ilumbo joined Restless Development’s Youth Can project where she received education and training on business skills and sexual health rights.
She is now self-reliant, having set up her own sewing business, and shares her knowledge of sexual health rights with other women and girls, teaching them about family planning, violence, periods and pregnancy. Ilumbo has multiplied change in her community, where women are no longer ashamed of speaking about periods, childhood marriage rates have decreased and parents are increasingly recognising the importance of education for girls.
Your decision to donate makes a real difference to the young people we work with. Last year alone, we supported over 34,000 young people, like Illumbo, in livelihood education so that they could provide for themselves and their communities.
Speaking of sustainability, a recent YouGov poll revealed that last year, on average, individuals in the UK spent a staggering £1,108 at Christmas with £388 going on gifts alone.
With the shadow of COP27 looming over us and with the heightened awareness of our environmental footprint weighing heavily on people’s minds, the need for change in our approach to consumption has never been more pronounced. So why not reduce waste this festive period and choose a gift that will never grow old or find its way to the back of the drawer.
Donating a one-off gift of £50 this Christmas could provide resource packs for 50 children in Uganda to teach them how to mitigate against the causes and drivers of Climate Change and how to take action in the fight against climate injustice.
6. A Power-Shifting Gift
This year we saw the launch of our Power Shifting Checklist at Restless Development, where we seek to intentionally and proudly restore power and resources to people and communities who have been oppressed through systems of colonialism, racism, sexism and classism.
By supporting Restless Development, your gift would help us drive this agenda forward as we lead the way in prioritising youth leadership, safety and happiness; training, supporting and resourcing young leaders and being open, dynamic and accountable to the young people that we partner with.
7. The Star on Top of the Tree
Since it began in 2008, the Big Give has raised over £191 million for thousands of charities. They are the UK’s largest match funding platform. Last year alone their Christmas Challenge raised over £24 million for over 900 charities. From midday on the 29 November to midday on the 6 December, any donation we receive up to £10,000 will be matched, pound for pound. As a smaller charity, any donation Restless Development receives (especially during this time!) has a massive impact on our work with young leaders across the globe.
So Give Big today and support young leaders this Christmas.
Victoria is the current Philanthropy and Partnerships Coordinator at Restless Development, having recently completed an MSt in Modern British History. She is particularly interested in efforts to decolonise and shift power in the development space and ensuring that young people are fairly represented and recognised as change-makers on the global stage.