After the weekend of rampant consumerism following Black Friday, another digital trend aims to reverse the record and talk about reaching out.
GivingTuesday is a network movement born in 2012 with the intention of channeling the traffic and energy of the holiday season in support of important causes.
“Every act of generosity counts” is the slogan of the movement.
And in a world like today, nothing could be more so.
“GivingTuesday strives to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe,” says its official website. “We believe that generosity leads to greater civic participation and other pro-social behaviors.”
However, with more than $400 million raised, the strength of #GivingTuesday translates into other terms. The donation campaign is one of the most potent trends in social media today.
As Forbes explains, and based on figures from the Global NGO Technology Report, nonprofit organizations that actively participate in social media during the campaign get “an average of twice as many followers on Twitter as on Instagram,” for example, thanks to the conversation around the hashtag.
The level of impressions and reactions on the platform exceeds 14 billion, making it “one of the most reliable trends of the year.”
How does it work?
Starting from the concept of “network” that feeds digital platforms, GivingTuesday works through collaborations with several non-profit organizations that cover diverse needs (children, seniors, veterans, animals, among others).
Thanks to the search engine of its official website, GivingTuesday allows users to connect with causes that represent an important issue for each donor or according to what is happening around them.
And it’s not just about money.
The movement encourages active participation through volunteerism, petition signatures, material donations, and even offering professional skills for a good cause.
Reaching out has never been so easy.
How do I know if my contribution has done any good?
If you don’t have time or simply want to help with a click, the best thing is to know your options and the impact of your contribution, as well as the level of transparency and accountability of each campaign.
That’s why the startup ImpactMatters has developed some tools to evaluate non-profit organizations, calculate their impact, and even offers a directory of organizations according to region and cause, as FastCompany explains.
The project uses the “right metrics” to evaluate the impact per dollar donated.
“That might be CO2 sequestered or it might be nights of shelter provided, and so forth, and we use that metric basically to assess the organization,” says Elijah Goldberg, co–founder and executive director of the project. “We put that into a model that we built, and we come out with an impact statement, which is basically just an estimate of how much good is created for a dollar.”
And for those of us who barely make it to the end of the month, getting involved in the conversation is another way to help.
Causes to Consider This #GivingTuesday
Find the cause closest to your heart and use the platforms to give voice to the change you want to see in the world. Check out the Innocence Project, a criminal justice reform organization that is currently running a campaign to raise funds for DNA testing — testing that can exonerate wrongfully imprisoned inmates. The organization has freed nearly 300 innocent people since its inception, a majority of whom were black or Latino inmates. Any donation you make will be doubled during the current campaign.
While the national news coverage has been focused on impeachment proceedings, leaving many of us feeling hopeless about the state of the union and the upcoming election, you can shift your focus to an organization that is undoubtedly going to make a difference come next November. The Latino Community Foundation uses your donations to mobilize the Latino vote, which very well may be the deciding voting bloc in the 2020 elections.
Long after the news cycles have moved on from their coverage of natural disasters, communities are still in great need of aid. Celebrity chef José Andrés’s global nonprofit World Central Kitchen stepped in to serve over two million meals to the people of the Bahamas, and also set up shop to feed the communities affected by the recent California wildfires. Help fund these ongoing efforts by putting you #GivingTuesday energy toward these causes.