Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday
We’re all familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but not too many of us with Giving Tuesday. It is an international day of giving and this year it is on November 29th. This is the fifth year charities across the world are using Giving Tuesday to raise funds for their work and it will be the third year the Literacy Coalition has participated.
The History of Giving Tuesday
The holiday season is a time when giving is top of mind for most of us. It was against the backdrop of the hangover of the collective overspending in the 2000s that #GivingTuesday was conceived by New York’s 92nd Street Y with the partnership of the United Nations Foundation. The idea they had in mind when launching the internet initiative was deliciously simple and uniquely appealing.
Our national day of thanksgiving is immediately followed by two days of “stuff getting”: the rampant frenzy of consumer hand-to-hand combat known as Black Friday, which has spilled over to Cyber Monday. The splurge and binge of those days created the perfect conditions for a change of pace. We needed a dedicated day of giving, this time not just our heartfelt thanks but also something more tangible. #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, arrived at the moment many of us were feeling overly stuffed, fatigued and searching for something more than turkeyed-out shoppers teed up for the latest conspicuously consumptive items. At launch in 2012, #GivingTuesday brought together 2,500-plus organizations and people from all 50 U.S. states. (By 2015, the movement was represented by partners in 71 countries.) Partners range from individuals to large corporations.)
The Making of a Global Movement
Corporations and religious groups, from Microsoft, which raised more than $1 million for youth-serving nonprofits worldwide in the first two years of the initiative, to the United Methodist Church, which raised $6.5 million one year for its global ministries and offered $1 million in matching funds the next year in hopes of raising $8 million.
In honor of Twitter’s 10th birthday, The Washington Post lauded #GivingTuesday
as one of the top 10 hashtags that changed the way we talk about social issues. The newspaper reported that the social initiative, which generated $10.1 million in donations in its first year, has amassed 3.1 million #GivingTuesday hashtag uses since then. In its fourth year, #GivingTuesday
raised $116.7 million.
Giving Tuesday in Howard County
Locally the Literacy Coalition and the YMCA run Giving Tuesday campaigns. Two years ago the United Way started to do a campaign but the tornado diverted their efforts. This year we’d like everyone to take a few moments on Giving Tuesday and make a donation to your favorite charity even if it isn’t the Literacy Coalition.
Why participate and give to the Literacy Coalition?
This year we are using Giving Tuesday to fund our new Reading Rabbits program. This program gives free children’s books to eligible children from birth to five years old. Research shows us that this is the age when children develop the skills necessary to succeed in school. We want to help them succeed so that we do not have to teach them as adults.
Although we’ve participated we haven’t been as successful as we’d like. One of the ways Giving Tuesday works is through peer to peer efforts via social media. It is not just a matter of making a donation, but it is individual like you encouraging others to do the same over Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.