If you’re like me, you’re just emerging from the barrage of sales stretching from Black Friday through the weekend to Cyber Monday. For the past four days Americans have been shopping. If you look at the research, despite fights, gun fire and early store opening hours Americans turned out to shop. IBM research reports “a 19.7 percent increase in Thanksgiving Day online sales as holiday shoppers once again went online for the best deals. This momentum set the stage for a record Black Friday with online sales growing 18.9 percent over the same period last year.” But if you’re tired of shopping and spending, you might want to check out Giving Tuesday today. Giving Tuesday encourages consumers to give to charities instead of spending.
Giving Tuesday, was launched last year by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. In 2013, the initiative has expanded to include 7,500 nonprofits, up from 2,500 in 2012 according to data from USA Today. So how is it going? Despite spending on themselves, Americans are giving . On Giving Tuesday in 2012 there was an online donation spike of 53 percent versus the same Tuesday in 2011, according to Blackbaud, a nonprofit research and software firm.
If you visit the Giving Tuesday website, you can see what it’s all about. The initiative strives to connect donors and major charities such as UNICEF, the Malala Fund and the Trevor Project, with corporate foundation arms such as eBay Deals and Johnson & Johnson, Giving Tuesday is also heavy on Social Media, signing up bloggers like me to participate on their website using Social Media and sharing the desire to give on their social networks using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
Part of this year’s Social Media push is to encourage the “selfie”s ubculture to take a break from narcissistic posting about themselves (paging the Kardashian family) by posting pictures of a charitable cause, rather than a picture of themselves. If you participate, use the hastag”#UNselfie,” on Twitter or Instagram to share your picture of a charitable cause near and dear to your heart. I’ll be posting later today on Autism (my nephew has Autism) with some photos on my social networks. I hope all of you will join me. As for shopping today, this is the day I will buy my UNICEF Christmas /Holiday cards and donate to Autism Speaks. You can buy the cards online or at Pier One stores. Proceeds go to help children in developing countries. To help Children with Autism, visit the Autism Speaks website.
Winston Churchill was right when we said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” That’s what Giving Tuesday is all about.