The Giving Tuesday movement yielded more than $380 million in domestic online giving last week, a massive jump from the still-noteworthy $10 million that the inaugural event generated in 2012.
Placed immediately after the twin spending smörgåsbords that are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is framed by its creators as the unofficial opening to the ‘giving season,’ which traditionally runs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
“Because we run a retail store full of artisans, for people to choose to shop here is a big deal,” said LaKeisha Wolf of Ujamaa Collective, one of the Season 1 Non-Profits here at Do-Goodery. “It’s a way to give back and put their values into action.
“As we’re entering a season of consuming, essentially, people are thinking about spending our money at this big-box store or looking for that online deal. (Giving Tuesday) is one concentrated day where we try to shift folks’ attention to people doing good work.”
(Listen to Wolf’s chat with our Rocco DeMaro on the latest Do-Goodery Podcast!)
But Giving Tuesday is more than a timeless concept clothed in the hashtag-laden garments of #social #media; while raw dollar amounts of charitable donations are trending up, the number of individual donors are trending down. Giving Tuesday is meant to take altruism back to the grassroots.
“When we first conceived of Giving Tuesday, we imagined a way to use people’s collective power to overcome what divides us, and unite behind our shared values,” said Giving Tuesday co-founder Henry Timms in a statement last week.
“At a time when people’s differences can seem so pronounced, Giving Tuesday demonstrates that everyday acts of compassion can spread, inspire and bring us closer.”
To wit, in addition to the $380 million total raised, there were nearly four million individual gifts given, a 45 percent jump from last year.
Heck, even Facebook — which has seen better days in terms of its worldwide reputation — helped inspire $125 million in domestic giving through its fundraising application, way up from the $45 million its users ponied up on Giving Tuesday 2017.
Giving Tuesday rides piggyback on the attention paid to the start of the holiday shopping season while simultaneously providing an alternative to materialism. Beyond all the good done because of it, Giving Tuesday succeeds because of astute marketing as much as its overarching mission.
No shame in that, not when the charitable causes are the ones that benefit the most. The challenge for anyone trying to lift the sights of the general population is to extend the ‘giving season’ through all 12 months.
“Giving Tuesday is important,” Wolf said, “but as non-profits we need to find reasons to gain attention of individuals throughout the year. “