Do we need another blog post about Giving Tuesday, the “global day dedicated to giving back” founded in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation?
Probably not. In the two years since it was launched, the day has been widely lauded, fairly well researched, and quickly declared a social media success. It is hard for me to think of what to say about it that hasn’t already been said. So I will start with this - you should participate. Find an organization you care about and give, generously.
Another question might be, do we need Giving Tuesday at all? As much as most commentators, social impact experts, and fundraisers praise the day, there’s no question that it isn’t perfect. It is easy to lament the fact that we need it at all. After another year in which our designated holiday of gratitude has seemingly degraded into a five-day celebration of indulgence, isn’t it sad that we need a sixth day to specifically remind us that Thanksgiving was supposed to be about thanks and giving in the first place?
Well, maybe. There’s no question that the world isn’t perfect, and there’s no doubt that we aren’t as generous and kind-hearted as we hope we might be. But there’s no question in my mind that we also have an ability to create love and charity in greater proportions to whatever misery we might perpetrate upon one another.
In my mind, the best thing about Giving Tuesday isn’t the money it generates for nonprofits – although that’s great. The best thing about Giving Tuesday is the conversation it creates about how charity is a tangible expression of our generosity. Wouldn’t it be great if that expression extended into every day of the year? Sure it would. But the first Tuesday in December is as good a place to start as any other.
So tomorrow, I encourage you to give what you can afford, to as many groups as you can. But more than that, on the other 364 days of the year I encourage you to extend the same spirit of kindness, openheartedness, emotional generosity, and yes, financial support to the world around you. You have something to offer, and we’re all better off when we receive it.
And by the way: thanks.