First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. Just when you thought all of the commercialism was starting out outweigh the good intentions of the season, along came Giving Tuesday.
Last weekend I participated in the Black Friday madness. We got up at 5AM and made a girls’ day of it. Thankfully, Walmart wasn’t one of our stops. Several times on Black Friday I was asked if I’d like to make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and I declined. Personally, I like to make my donations on my own time, but I still felt bad saying no. So, when I heard about Giving Tuesday I was excited to take part.
According to the website, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is now about giving thanks; it’s a day when “global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.” The organizers and partners, which include New York City’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, are asking that people take time to give and to tell others how and why they are doing so.
Part of the Giving Tuesday social media campaign is for participants to take an “UNselfie” and hashtag it as such. Givers should take an unselfish selfie with a caption that explains how and why they are giving and make sure to label it #GivingTuesday #UNselfie. This isn’t a glamor shot taken in your car with your best duck-face, this is the exact opposite of that, this is an opportunity to use social media for the benefit of others.
Big organizations like Bank of America and FEED are also getting involved. Bank of America will be teaming up with Feeding America as the exclusive sponsor of its holiday Give a Meal campaign. For every dollar contributed to the campaign through January 10, Bank of America will donate $2 more, up to a total match of $1,500,000. FEED will partner up with World Food Program USA and present a live Q&A with FEED CEO and Co-Founder Lauren Bush on their Facebook page to talk about global hunger issues.
In only its second year, Giving Tuesday isn’t quite as well known as its commercial predecessors, but that’s why the social media element is key. Last year without any notoriety, Giving Tuesday generated donations from about 2,600 non-profits. This year, as the winter season begins, hopefully the goodwill will snowball.
Will you participate in #GivingTuesday tomorrow? I know I will.