3 December, 2014
It’s been quite a weekend. First there was Black Friday (maybe it should be re-named Black-Eye Friday given the bun fight on the high street) and then there was Cyber Monday. If you’d any money left then the latest addition to the seasonal calendar was #GivingTuesday.
Originating in America, #GivingTuesday is an international fundraising day dedicated to giving back. There are no instructions, no list of designated charities and no fundraising guide. It’s up to individuals to decide how they want to give.
That’s one of the reasons it’s likely to be an enduring success. As Cheryl Chapman, the director of City Philanthropy, points out in her piece for Guardian Society because the idea is your own, and it can be different each year, #GivingTuesday is a constantly changing event so participation is more likely to be repeated year on year.
Its timing is also good as December is the time for spending money and people are more inclined to donate now than in January when the bills come in and we don’t feel as flush.
The challenge for charities is to attract fundraisers towards their cause, or to prompt existing supporters to raise money. As a campaign rooted in social media the ideas need to be ones that travel, that are shared amongst friends, passed on and hopefully reach new audiences, while containing the ask that generates donations. One thing is certain in the run up to Christmas: it needs to be simple and fun – no-one wants to think too hard or have their Christmas spirit dampened!
#GivingTuesday didn’t receive even a small proportion of the column inches dedicated to the weekend’s frenzied shopping so It will be interesting to see how it develops, and to see if it’s something we’ll be doing every year from now on.