Yesterday was the fourth Giving Tuesday, a global day of community-driven philanthropy. Today is ThankYouWednesday because it was a huge success, including financial with 52% increase in giving. And, because those of work in the social good sector know that giving is to become a habit or part of culture, it can’t be transactional. We can’t treat donors like ATM machines, only asking for money. We have give gratitude and thanks and build ongoing relationships.
But let me reflect on how amazing yesterday was. After weeks of bad news – from terrorism, shootings, fear, racism, shootings, and more, it felt good to celebrate something that makes us all feel good – giving. Everywhere I turned, I saw examples of generosity, creativity, joy, gratitude, and celebration — all linked to the simple notion of giving back – your time, your money, or support. Whether it was a 12 year old starting a fundraising drive to help homeless, GivingTuesday matching grant challenges, nonprofits launching crowd funding campaigns, sharing unselfies about why they give, people sharing their giving stories – yesterday was about abundance in the nonprofit sector versus scarcity.
While my in-box filled up with many GivingTuesday requests from nonprofits that I support, I was struck by the creativity of how each organization incorporated giving Tuesday into fundraising or donor recognition campaigns.
Global Giving did a creative campaign to encourage people to share why they give. If you tweeted with the hashtag #IGiveBecause – you received a $20 gift card to donate to the charity of your choice on their site. I gave the gift of girls education. I also saw several appeals from organizations where the ask was not to support their organization, but the specific call – that is truly abundance and it is beautiful.
@kanter *Thank you* Beth!
— MomsRising (@MomsRising) December 2, 2015
I support a number of nonprofits and had already made gifts to a number of them, but I used the excitement of Giving Tuesday to support a few nonprofits, particularly those who I know first hand do wonderful work. It was also very exciting to get immediate PERSONAL thank yous via social media or email.
While we can’t say for sure that GivingTuesday was factor, yesterday’s big giving was from Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. In a letter to their newborn daughter, Max, they announced that they were giving away 99% of their Facebook stock to make the world a better place. The money will be channeled into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a newly formed group that will initially focus on education and health. In 2010, Gates and Warren Buffett publicly launched the Giving Pledge to encourage billionaires to donate the bulk of their wealth to charity, which includes one from Zuckerberg, although it does not describe the scale of his gift.
Back in September, 2012, I was at a conference at Stanford University when I first heard Rob Reich at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, mention the idea of a global day of giving. I signed up to help in whatever way I could to promote and support this idea and Henry Timms. In yesterday’s New York Times, David Bornstein wrote an excellent piece that described the results and how this participatory, community-owned campaign has exploded into an global day of giving in just four years.
Thank you Henry Timms, Aaron Sherinian, and the many others around the world who have made Giving Tuesday and the notion of giving back a global event.
UPDATE: My initial reaction was to applaud and get excited about Zuckerberg “gift”, but upon further reflection and reading, I’m not so sure. It has the potential to be disruptive and positive change, but it also the potential to be evil. Is Zuckerberg’s Giving for good or evil? Is it disruptive and exiting or frightening? Here’s a few articles to mull it over:
- Why 45 Billion Should Get Your Attention
- How Mark Zuckerberg’s Altruism Helps Himself?
- The Rise of Philanthropcaptialism
- Reasons Why Zuckerberg Money is Going Into LLC
- What No One Is Telling You About Zuckerberg Philanthropy
- Why Zuckerberg Pledge Is Scary As Hello
- Struggling to Make A Better World
- Facebook’s CEO Starts LLC to Donate
- Using Profits to Funnel Big Money to Charity Raises Transparency Concerns