Spread the Word: #GivingTuesday is Coming to the UK

Earlier this month saw an exciting development in the charity world, with the announcement that the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) will be introducing the international giving campaign #GivingTuesday to these shores later this year, in partnership with Blackbaud.Facebook Profile2
#GivingTuesday is a campaign that originated in the United States, and takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving each year.
Over recent years the retail sector has cashed in on the holiday season through Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Black Friday has typically been the busiest shopping day since 2005, and Cyber Monday acts as a spur to encourage more people to shop online.
But the creation of these two shopping days meant there was something missing. Someone needed to put the ‘giving’ back into ‘giving season.’
In response, and to create an antidote to the consumerism of the previous two shopping days, New York charity 92 Y partnered with the United Nations Foundation to launch #GivingTuesday in 2012, a day committed to getting people to engage in charitable activities.
#GivingTuesday brings together individuals, businesses, charities, celebrities, politicians – everyone committed to using their resources to making positive change happen.
Some participants choose to give money, others prefer to volunteer, charities launch campaigns, businesses match funds and give their staff the chance to volunteer – in short, there is a wealth of activity dedicated to supporting good causes and the range of action taking place means that there is something for everyone.
And the organisations supporting #GivingTuesday shows just how successful it has been. Well-known businesses such as Google, Microsoft and Skype have signed up to the campaign, in addition to the thousands of SMEs doing their bit to help charity on the day. In addition, the campaign has been backed by celebrities such as Kevin Bacon and Tiger Woods, with President Obama chipping in to add his support.
Starting in the United States, #GivingTuesday expanded significantly in 2013, with activities reaching Canada, Australia, Latin America, Mexico, Singapore and Israel. 2014 will see #GivingTuesday imported to the UK for the first time. Even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, the recent adoption of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has proved to be very successful for retailers, and we’re keen to make sure that charities have their day too!
More seriously, the success of the ‘shopping holidays’ in the UK shows that there is an appetite for themed days over here, and we would be letting our great country down if we didn’t give the millions of generous donors and volunteers the chances to get involved with #GivingTuesday. Our proud heritage of charitable giving as a nation makes us a natural partner for an international day of giving.
It’s exciting to be part of a global movement for good.
Part of the reason that #GivingTuesday has been so successful is because it harnesses the power of social media to give everyone taking part the chance to let others know what they’re up to and inspire even more people to get involved with giving.
Last year, the hashtag ‘#GivingTuesday’ was trending for most of the day and saw more than 269,000 tweets. Particularly successful was the use of the ‘unselfie’ – urging people to post photos of themselves and their favourite charitable cause.
Since announcing the launch of #GivingTuesday in the UK we’ve had some great messages of support from people and organisations keen to get involved and to show that the UK can compete with the best when it comes to giving. Last year, CAF’s World Giving Index ranked the UK as one of the most generous nations in the world, and this year our participation in the global giving day #GivingTuesday will prove it.
Over the next few months we’ll be helping co-ordinate activity, but the reality is that #GivingTuesday belongs to you.
The success of #GivingTuesday relies on businesses, charities and people in the UK coming together and committing to using December 2nd 2014 to make a difference. We’ll be launching our website shortly where you’ll be able to find out all about #GivingTuesday, but in the meantime follow us on twitter @givingtuesdayuk, find us on Facebook or for more information get in touch – givingtuesday@backbritainscharities.org.uk
We hope that you’ll join us in making #GivingTuesday UK a great success!

Steve Clapperton

(This article first appeared on www.givingthought.org)


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