If you are an American you certainly are aware of “Black Friday” and perhaps now “Cyber Monday”. Both of these days focus around one thing in particular….spending money on material purchases. The masses will literally line up for hours before store openings on the Friday after Thanksgiving, while online companies offer massive discounts to people eager to sit behind their computer all day long that following Monday.
While I am all in favor of saving money on purchases, I do question the social media mass marketing and highly influential consumerism that impacts so many. I also question the huge commitment, dedication and resources people put into these two days in particular. The Thanksgiving holiday is a time meant to reflect on our gratitude and thanksfulness for what we have. Yet, one day later we line up with anticipation and excitement for “stuff” we don’t have, but somewhere are lead to believe we need.
Well, to counter this descent into material dissalusionment, a new movement is growing called Giving Tuesday.
You can learn more about its history here:
Here are some common Questions and Answers to provide some more information.
Question: What is GivingTuesday?
Answer: GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The second annual GivingTuesday is on December 3, 2013.
In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday. We ask that partners create and commit to a project for/on #GivingTuesday and then help spread the word to their networks.
Question: What is GivingTuesday’s mission?
Answer: GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support non-profit organizations.
Question: How did #GivingTuesday start?
Answer: New York’s 92nd Street Y was the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project and providing #GivingTuesday a home. The United Nations Foundation joined as partners, bringing their strategic and communications clout to the project. An amazing team of influencers then offered their ideas, contacts and wisdom to help shape and improve the concept. A powerful list of corporations and non-profits agreed to be founding partners, helping spread the word and committing to their own #GivingTuesday initiatives. Since then, countless organizations, friends and leaders have all added their support and talents to make #GivingTuesday a reality.
Question: Did GivingTuesday make a difference last year?
Answer: In 2012, we had more than 2,500 recognized GivingTuesday partners from all 50 states of the United States. The collective efforts of partners, donors and advocates helped fuel a marked increase in charitable giving on GivingTuesday.
Blackbaud processed over $10 million in online donations on 11/27/12 – a 53% increase when compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the previous year. DonorPerfect recorded a 46% increase in online donations and the average gift increased 25%. More than 50 million people worldwide spread the word about GivingTuesday – resulting in milestone trending on Twitter. Not too shabby, right?
I encourage everyone to find a trustworthy charitable organization to give back to this holiday season. May you find joy and contentment this holiday and discover the truth that “It is better to give than to receive.”
Why We Give- By Bill & Melinda Gates
Thanks for taking a break from your holiday shopping to take a look at #GivingTuesday.
Everyone has their own reasons for giving back. For us, it’s simply about making the world a more fair and equitable place. We know we were very lucky to grow up where we did, when we did. We believe everyone deserves the chance to live a healthy, productive life. Those are the values we learned from our families, and they’re why we started our foundation.
In our work, we come across a lot of great organizations doing inspiring work in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, as we talked about #GivingTuesday, the hardest question we faced was, “Which groups should we highlight?” After a lot of discussion about all the great choices out there, we picked four.
When our children have a little extra money saved up and want to make a donation, they often turn to Heifer International and World Vision. Through Heifer, you can donate an animal to a community in need—a gift that can benefit the recipients for years afterward. Through World Vision and Save the Children, you can change a child’s life by helping provide food, health care, education and more. And DonorsChoose.org lets you help teachers meet their classrooms’ needs, enabling projects that might not happen otherwise.
Whoever you support, and however much you give, thank you for participating in #GivingTuesday. It’s a great way to help create the better world we all want. We wish you a happy holiday season.