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What is the Giving Tuesday movement and how to participate

Gabriela Porto
Gabriela Porto November 30, 2021
What is the Giving Tuesday movement and how to participate

It is safe to assume that most people are familiar with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest retail events of the year and the official kick start of the holiday shopping season, which represents high consumerism because of the lower prices, never-ending sales and traditional gift exchanges. 

But the holiday season has a whole special meaning behind the shopping urge. It is not unusual to see people helping those in need . Whether it’s by donating money to charity, volunteering at shelters or getting involved in fundraising events, the goal is simple and genuine: to give back and be thankful for the year that has passed.

Nowadays, it is known that the impact of mass purchasing affects social, environmental and ethical sustainability. That is why companies have invested and will keep on investing in ways of making their brands more conscious of their impact in the world and why many movements and nonprofit organizations have popped up with solutions, as small as they can be, for empowering brands to contribute positively. 

One of these movements is Giving Tuesday, an international movement focused on creating a worldwide generosity chain in response to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, focused solely on product consumption.

What is Giving Tuesday?

The Giving Tuesday movement is described as a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world”

The movement was born in 2012 in New York City. Nowadays, it is an independent, nonprofit and global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people and companies to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity in more than 70 countries. By joining forces with brands, companies, activists and NGOs, the movement is deeply rooted in utilizing a network of do-gooders to leverage local initiatives.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a time of worldwide crisis in different parts of the industry, the movement proved to be incredibly necessary. During that time, companies and people’s engagement with Giving Tuesday grew. In the UK and in Brazil, the average donation value went up 40%, on average. Download the 2020 Giving Tuesday report to find out more about the outcome of the movement.

“We are all connected and we are all generous. Even when we are uncertain and afraid. We must take the energy and inspiration going forward to establish stronger habits of generosity.”

Asha Curran, CEO at Giving Tuesday Global

Heading into its tenth year, Giving Tuesday is happening on November 30, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving weekend, all over the world. In the movement’s website, you can see who is giving back in your country.

The denomination for Giving Tuesday can change from country to country, but the goal remains the same. In Brazil, for instance, Giving Tuesday is called Donation Day (Dia de Doar) and has, in 2020, collected more than BRL $ 2 million in online donations. To spread the word of the movement and engage with more companies and people,  Brazilian movement team has partnered up with different NGOs and companies. The Arredondar Movement is one of them. 

Through partnering with businesses to promote donations and solidarity campaigns, the NGO’s purpose is to round up broken cents and give the extra ones away — bought a product that costs USD $ 4.66? Why not round it up to USD $ 5.00?

For 2021, the movement has created the Retail with a Cause platform and a page to inspire brands and give them information on how and why to participate. They are seeking bigger recognition for Giving Day in Brazil by sharing ideas and formats about engaging clients and collaborators for campaigns related to the cause. The Movimento Arredondar has recurring partners such as Burger King Brazil, Petz, GOL and Privalia.

How to participate?

Participating in Giving Tuesday is easy, whether you want to donate yourself as a person or join the movement as a company. 

Brands

Companies of all segments and sizes promote some kind of action, either to increase public participation in existing actions, engage employees, generate visibility for NGOs and continue promotional campaigns that encourage donations.

Brands participate in it not only because of the positive impact that they can have in the world but also to remain top of mind in the hearts of consumers. Purpose-driven brands are preferred amongst consumers and social responsibility and impact are some of the things that most young adults look for when shopping.

“Giving Tuesday can be a date to reinforce the social actions that already exist in the company. Brands can make offline and online donations and engage their customers to do the same, they can also increase the visibility of social organizations and impact projects, inspiring consumers and employees to participate in this movement.” 

Beatriz Bouskela, Executive Director at the Arredondar Movement

By associating with Giving Tuesday, brands and small businesses are introduced to a network of people and charities to choose from. All they have to do is use their voice and advocate for the movement. The movement even has a few tips on its website:

  • Raise money or give a portion of sales to an organization you and your employees are passionate about.
  • Offer a matching grant to specific nonprofits or match your employees’ donations on GivingTuesday.
  • If you have a storefront, coordinate a drive of specific goods and coordinate pickup with a nonprofit that can get them to the right people or give to neighbors around your business.
  • Use your social channels to encourage others to share kindness and be generous.

Enough said it’s time to present some cases from global brands that have participated (or will participate) in the Giving Tuesday movement.

Motorola

Motorola (United States) has announced that it will do some donation matching of every charitable gift submitted by an employee to the Motorola Solutions Foundation in honor of Giving Tuesday. Last year, this was very helpful and Motorola was able to triple its own donation while also influencing its collaborators to do the same thing. This helps not only charities but also increases company morale and establishes a giveback culture to all within the organization.

L’Oréal Paris 

L’Oréal Paris used Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to highlight its philanthropic program “Because You’re Worth It”. In 2020, the brand announced Noelle Lambert, founder of the Born to Run Foundation as the brand’s National Honoree for that year. She also received an additional $25,000 to support her mission of providing children and young adults with specialized prosthetics. 

People and activists

Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to do good by themselves and others. To participate in the movement, you need to find brands that are associated with it, who usually have the Giving Tuesday logo or promote it on their social platforms. In the end, it’s all about being kind.

NGOs and Community Organizations

For nonprofits and organizations, it is free for all places. If you think the organization’s mission is aligned with Giving Tuesday movements, all you need to do is sign up, set up a landing page and start spreading the word — take advantage of the power of social media and the #GivingTuesday here. If you don’t know where to start, check out their website for case studies, ebook and more.

Some honorable mentions from 2020 

  • National campaigns in Costa Rica and Colombia collaborated to help people in both countries who were feeling isolated at home by organizing a week of wellness programs.
  • #GivingTuesdaySpark has mobilized young changemakers and do-gooders under 18 to volunteer, give, reach out and spread kindness.
  • Even the tech industry is looking into it. CriptoTuesday and NFTuesday are some initiatives that promote online donations to NGOs, educational and religious entities.

The importance of (always) giving back

Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to the community, not only after Black Friday and Cyber Monday but year-round. The movement’s network aims to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to make it part of day-to-day life for everyone. 

As we’ve shown, to join the movement in 2021 and the following years is easy, whether you’re a company or a person. If you want to learn more about the movement and how you and your brand can get involved with it, visit their website for stories, tips and campaign best practices.

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