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Published October 20, 2023 Reading Time: 8 minutes

World Kindness Day 2023 falls on Monday, Nov. 13, and marks an international celebration of generosity. The goal is simple: to make kindness a regular act instead of an exception. 

Here, we recognize how nonprofits and individuals alike came together to show kindness over the last year to inspire you to realize your ideas next month as you join in the celebration. 

What Happens on World Kindness Day?

World Kindness Day is a time to spread altruistic acts, big or small. Each personal celebration showcases how simple acts of kindness can be while making a meaningful impact. 

The more people who take a small step toward a heart-led world, the bigger the effect can be. It’s a day to pause and remember that kindness can heal and transform communities.

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The History of World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day, first introduced by the World Kindness Movement (WKM), began on November 13, 1998. The WKM became an international nongovernmental organization in 2019. Without a specific political or religious affiliation, countries came together around the shared vision of a more compassionate world.  

The mission of the World Kindness Movement (WKM) is to inspire individuals and connect nations to create a kinder world. The WKM encourages and supports individuals, communities, cities and nations to establish independent kindness organizations to join the World Kindness Movement to see a kinder world realised in our lifetime.

World Kindness Movement

The countries currently participating in World Kindness Day include Australia, Canada, India, the U.S., and many others. This global participation allows World Kindness Day to grow yearly and expand what’s possible.

Celebrations often include setting aside time to perform random acts of kindness, bringing new ideas to pay it forward and connecting individuals to causes that need their generosity.

Acts of Kindness That Continue to Inspire Us

As we approach World Kindness Day 2023, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the current events that call for relief efforts from people across the globe. 

GoFundMe’s giving hub is a great resource for identifying particular causes that need immediate support and uniting fundraisers and nonprofit organizations around international crises in real-time. The widespread desire to help others has been incredible to watch.

For real-time updates on the campaigns that support disaster relief and other timely events, Classy’s X account is a great source of up-to-date information.

Let’s look closer at how people stepped out of their day-to-day work to show they care. These inspiring moments in 2023 show us just how crucial kindness is in changing lives.

Turning to Kindness for the Turkey and Syria Earthquake

On February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. The disaster impacted over 15 million people, including 55,000 deaths and 130,000 injuries.2 The outpouring of love and support that followed continues to show the people whose lives have forever changed that they’re not alone.

Coming Together for Kindness

A glance at the multinational fundraising efforts shows how impactful it can be when people come together to help communities heal from unexpected disasters. Verified fundraisers are in place for specified support areas, including survivors, victims, and families. Funding continues to aid various groups per the Office of Foreign Assets Control guidance around donations.

@injectorlina

The earthquakes in Syria have been life shattering to thousands - my aunt and her immediate family included…if each one of my followers gave $5-10 we could relocate them to a safer country and give them the means to start a new/safer life. #syriaearthquake2023 #earthquake #syrianearthquake2023 #syrianearthquake #gofundme #greenscreen

♬ original sound - InjectorLina

Nonprofit organizations like Concern Worldwide U.S., Karam Foundation, Turkish Philanthropy Funds, Alight, and others met the challenge. Their ability to secure shelter and resources through their Classy fundraising campaigns helped the massive segment of individuals who needed it quickly. The representation of supporters across various locations is a beautiful reflection of what people can do to bring light in a dark time, even if they’ll never meet that individual.

In the aftermath of the February 6th earthquakes in Turkey, Turkish Philanthropy Funds witnessed the profound power of kindness. When the world trembled, it was compassion that steadied us, and collective kindness that rebuilt hope. On this World Kindness Day, we celebrate not just the act, but the transformative experience of reaching out when it matters most.

Senay Ataselim Yilmaz

Executive Director at Turkish Philanthropy Funds

In times of emergencies and natural disasters such as the Syria-Turkiye Earthquake, extending a hand of kindness can provide solace and hope to those facing their darkest hours. Small acts of compassion can make an immense difference, reminding people that even amidst chaos, humanity’s capacity for empathy is of the utmost importance.

Annie Lazarski

Annual Fund Lead at Karam Foundation

Rallying around the Maui Wildfires

When wildfires devastated the Hawaiian Island of Maui on August 8, 2023, the world answered the call to support. The fires led to many displaced residents and visitors and claimed the lives of 115 people. Additionally, the aftermath left over 2,000 homes destroyed, 800 business establishments damaged, and about 7,000 employees’ livelihoods at stake.

Coming Together for Kindness

GoFundMe’s dedicated Maui relief hub awarded more than 500 grants to those impacted by the fires. Verified fundraisers are in place to honor memorials, individuals and families, Maui businesses, and community relief. We saw people worldwide create crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising pages to raise money and awareness for everything from emergency assistance to shelter for impacted children. 

@chrisyacphoto

Please help my daughter and family recover from the Maui wildfire tragedy #maui #mauiwildfire #mauiwildfirerelief #gofundme Copy/paste -> https://gofund.me/958c00a6 @Fiona622 @Marina Prorwitsch @Lizzy Fernandez @Natasha Mena

♬ Somewhere Over The Rainbow_What A Wonderful World - Israel Kamakawiwo"ole

Organizations such as The Salvation Army – Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, Stable Road Foundation, Random Acts, and Baby2Baby played a crucial role too. As demand grew, these nonprofits were ready to take action and provide the essentials and care that mattered profoundly to Maui. Many of these organizations continue to support residents, businesses, and tourists with ongoing Classy campaigns while transitioning into a new chapter following the event.

One of the kindest things The Salvation Army’s staff and volunteers can do for disaster survivors is to simply listen. Catastrophic loss, heartbreak, and the trauma of wildfire is difficult to process, so one of the most essential aspects of our disaster recovery program is the Emotional & Spiritual Care element. We call it the ‘ministry of presence,’ where a Salvation Army staff member sits with someone in their grief while they say whatever is on their mind. And thankfully, after we listen we also have the means of helping them start again through our short- and long-term recovery programs that help with meals, transportation, gift cards, and much more.

Charmaine Hauanio-Kuewa

Divisional Director of Development for The Salvation Army - Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division

Helping with Hurricane Idalia

Shortly after the Maui wildfires began, the thread of kindness expanded as Hurricane Idalia landed on Florida’s Gulf Coast on August 30, 2023. The heavy flooding forced thousands of people to evacuate and submerged vehicles, businesses, and homes. Hurricane Idalia reached 130 mph winds and was far more damaging than past hurricanes in similar areas.4

Coming Together for Kindness

We saw a huge response on GoFundMe from nationwide communities to provide immediate relief and long-term rebuilding efforts. Verified fundraisers continue to show their kindness, from support for a specific individual to relief across the affected areas in Florida.

@directrelief

Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief’s President & CEO, shares how the organization is responding to Hurricane Idalia, which hit Florida’s Gulf Coast this morning as a Category 3 storm and continues to move across the Southeast with heavy rainfall.

♬ original sound - Direct Relief

Nonprofit organizations like Direct Relief, All Hands and Hearts, Feeding Tampa Bay, and World Central Kitchen continue dedicating team members and support to ensure the community has enough medication, supplies, and necessities for well-being.

David Weager, a homeowner impacted by the hurricanes in Florida this year, shared, “They [All Hands and Hearts] are the most wonderful people I have ever worked with. I was so impressed to see folks of all ages and from all over the world, even people my age, who are still volunteering at 79 years old. I will now volunteer myself after working with this group.

Making an Impact for Those Impacted by the Morocco Earthquake 

On September 8, 2023, about a week after Hurricane Idalia, another earthquake impacted thousands of lives. It also ignited the good deeds of individuals and organizations globally. A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Marrakesh–Safi region of Morocco, causing devastation across Algeria and Portugal. About 380,000 people had been impacted by the end of September, including the damage of 50,000 homes.5

Coming Together for Kindness

International fundraisers came together to raise money on GoFundMe for many who needed it, and that hasn’t stopped. We saw individual states, counties, and cities launch fundraisers to get involved in the relief effort. Yet again, it was the common thread of humanity and the power of worldwide kindness working hand in hand.

@cbsnews

Moroccans lined up in the hundreds on Monday to donate blood for the injured after an earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people, Chris Livesay reports. Among the donors were members of Morocco"s national football team. #morocco #earthquake

♬ original sound - cbsnews

Organizations like MADRE, Humanity First’s Disaster Relief Fund, and many others came together to deliver supplies to emergency response teams. With such a sense of urgency, the funding collected through their Classy campaigns has provided hope to nations in need.

World Kindness Day 2023 Ideas for Your Nonprofit

As you reflect on your acts of kindness over the past year, you might feel more motivated to join a global movement addressing significant needs. The good news is you don’t have to wait for a disaster to make a positive impact through acts of kindness. Simply sharing your generosity and compassion with someone can facilitate meaningful change in their day, and that’s something worth celebrating. 

Below are some ways to rally your supporters ahead of November and make the most of World Kindness Day 2023. 

Host a Donor Appreciation Event

Turn World Kindness Day 2023 into a donor appreciation event to flip the kindness back on those who’ve shown up to impact you all year. The Nov. 13 date also coincides with the month of gratitude, Giving Tuesday, and the year-end giving season kickoff. Thanking your donors is a fantastic way to show you care and establish strong relationships that may impact future loyalty. 

Get creative and think about how you can surprise people with personal and unexpected invitations. You can go digital or send handwritten kindness cards to share the details of your event. A hybrid event format can also open the doors to nationwide supporters with more flexibility to attend. Alternatively, mini-events in local areas where supporters can get to know one another are a great engagement opportunity. 

When Alight responds to humanitarian disasters and emergencies that seem dire, we know that we always find generosity and people who are willing to help. Our job is to elevate that with kindness…to surface joy, creativity and beauty within our teams and within the communities we work with.

Zohra Zori

Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer at Alight

See it in action: The GoFundMe team headed to the most generous city in America to surprise and thank the folks of Marietta, Georgia, for their ongoing support. The celebrations spanned from an intimate dinner to celebrate some of the most generous donors to a city-wide event to thank residents in person. 

More Details on This Mini-Event

Set Up a DIY Peer-to-Peer Campaign 

If you want to honor the unique ties and stories that draw donors to support your nonprofit, consider how activating them to launch DIY peer-to-peer campaigns could amplify your fundraising. It’s a low-lift way to ignite generosity while honoring participants’ creative freedom. 

The DIY element allows individuals and groups to set up their fundraising pages whenever inspiration strikes. From there, they can choose how to raise money within their network around a specific cause that resonates. 

Fundraisers can craft thoughtful messaging to promote their campaigns centered on spreading kindness to reflect their personalities and values and pique people’s interest. This can also be a fun way to introduce a kindness challenge to mobilize support.

Announce a Donation Match 

Supporting acts of kindness for others aligns well with a donation match opportunity. Imagine people learning of having any gift they give on World Kindness Day 2023 doubled. It’s exciting to think about how increased fundraising revenue could impact your chosen initiative or community. 

You may also choose a donation match partner from your local community organizations, major donors, or corporate sponsors as a cap for the matching window. A donation match can help showcase your organization’s kindness and call on your donors’ actions to make a big difference and make them feel proud.

Create a Simple Way to Take Fast Action

Add an embedded donation form on your website to streamline the giving process and increase conversions. 

When the giving process is simple, motivating donors to contribute to your World Kindness Day 2023 campaign is much easier. All you need to do is direct traffic to a simple donation form through social media using the hashtag #worldkindnessday. You could also engage donors in person at your next event through a QR code they can scan to access your donation website quickly. 

Kindness is the heartbeat of our work at Concern Worldwide. In times of heightened need, extending compassion not only uplifts those in need but nourishes the spirit of our team and supporters, fostering a global community of care and solidarity. Let’s remember that even small acts of kindness can create ripples of hope in the world.

Candance Patel-Taylor

Vice President for Communications, Concern Worldwide US

Embedded Giving Examples

Ready to Turn Your Kindness into a Movement?

Classy comprehensive fundraising platform offers a wide array of campaigns and simple donation pages to make it as easy as possible for nonprofits to activate donors quickly. Our campaign templates and donor-first pages help you set up your event, peer-to-peer campaign, crowdfunding page, embedded donation form, and much more. We celebrate your creativity while giving you the comprehensive fundraising platform to make it possible. 

Whether World Kindness Day 2023 or another timely event that calls on supporters, we’re ready to help you bring your unique story and a modern experience to every fundraising effort.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Article Sources:

  1. “Story – We Are Kinder,” The World Kindness Movement, accessed October 2, 2023, https://www.theworldkindnessmovement.org/about-us-2/story/.
  2. “2023 Turkey and Syria Earthquake: Facts, FAQs, How to Help,” World Vision, accessed October 2, 2023, https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/2023-turkey-and-syria-earthquake-faqs.
  3. “Maui Wildfire Impacts Economic Recovery,” State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, accessed October 2, 2023, https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/23-47/.
  4. “’Every Hurricane Is Different’: Why Experts Are Still Estimating Idalia’s Impact,” USA Today, last modified September 4, 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/09/04/idalia-size-wind-speeds-damage-what-we-know/70729125007/.
  5. “2023 Morocco Earthquake,” Center for Disaster Philanthropy, accessed October 3, 2023, https://disasterphilanthropy.org/disasters/2023-morocco-earthquake/.
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