Giving Tuesday takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Giving Tuesday was created to combat the ever growing rush of holiday shopping that has begun to eat away at the original concept of the holiday season.
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Seeing Thanksgiving – a day set aside to give thanks for what you have – fade away into the rush of Black Friday and the need for material possessions, the 92nd Y and the United Nations Foundations joined forces and drafted the newly born holiday.
Giving Tuesday, or better known as #GivingTuesday, was created to promote the spirit and act of giving through the use of social media sites. With social media being the main tool of communication for today’s generation, it seemed only natural to take to the web in an effort to grow engagement, awareness, and participation in the fading art of philanthropy.
The hash tag and website created to accompany the holiday gives nonprofits a platform to communicate with donors regarding their efforts and allows would be donors a secure place to donate without fear of scams or cons.
The holiday shopping craze has leapt from the store fronts and sidewalk sales to the screens of computers, tablets, and smart phones creating a socially acceptable ingestion of consumerism. Giving Tuesday puts activism in the forefront of social media trending topics, bringing people together and making a difference on a large public scale.
How to give on Giving Tuesday
Despite being met with some skepticism, Giving Tuesday did start out of the gate with tremendous results. Several large corporations jumped on the bandwagon including Google, Microsoft, Skype, Cisco, UNICEF, and the movement has been publicly endorsed by celebrities such as Bill and Miranda Gates.
If you are interested in participating, log on to the GivingTuesday.org website and sign up as a social media ambassador. Decide ahead of time which causes or charities you are going to contribute to, and discuss them ahead of time with family and friends in order to drum up some additional support.
Just as Black Friday and Cyber Monday begin the hype long before the toll of midnight, start the hype early. Blog, Tweet, or post on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram about your activism using the hash tag #GivingTuesday. Join in conversations across social media, connect with fellow Givers and keep the exchanges going. Make use of other Giving Tuesday hash tags such as #Unselfie – a selfless selfie that shows support for the holiday.
Although Giving Tuesday is not considered an official federal holiday in the United States, it has been growing in popularity and awareness. A great contrast to the shopping hysterics that have been overshadowing the holiday season during the last decade, Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to reintroduce the concept of philanthropy to the US, Europe, and the rest of the world. Thanks to easily accessible social media websites, Giving Tuesday is a holiday that anyone can participate in without even leaving the office.