National Edition

Giving Tuesday movement seeks to rival Black Friday, Cyber Monday

Published: Friday, Nov. 22 2013 4:00 a.m. MST

On Giving Tuesday, Blackbaud will also be launching a new website at BusinessDoingGood.com. The website will help small and mid-sized businesses build a give-back business, teaching them how to create strategic plans for incorporating philanthropy into their businesses.

"We really wanted to use our broad social networking to spread the good message about Giving Tuesday," she said. “It really is for everyone."

For its creators, the aim of Giving Tuesday is to propel philanthropy globally and to take the responsibility for giving off the shoulders of nonprofit organizations alone. They want to build on the historically charitable nature of Americans. According to the World Giving Index, produced by the Charity Aid Foundation, the United States was the most charitable country in 2011, although that ranking dropped to fifth in 2012, behind Australia, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

"(Giving) is something we agree on,” said Sherinian. “You can't help but realize that this is a country of generous people. Generosity is found in every ZIP code and in every community around the world."

Measuring goodness

But because Giving Tuesday is not a centralized entity, the sum total of the giving cannot be measured by any one specific entity such as the 92nd Street Y, or the United Nations Foundation. Instead, they aim to measure giving through multiple platforms of online donations tabulated together.

"We really wanted people to have a direct relationship with their donors and supporters," Timms said.

A new partner of Giving Tuesday is The Family Dinner Project, a nonprofit that encourages families to eat together and engage in conversations about gratitude, giving and connecting within a community.

For Timms, these add-on movements are an essential component to the overall success of Giving Tuesday, because it strategically implements the grassroots movement of giving — the family.

"Talking about philanthropy with children couldn't be more important," Timms said. "I don't think you can measure that kind of thing now, but you'll be able to measure it in twenty years' time. We need to think about the next generation of philanthropists."

The rise of the 'unselfie'

Another initiative of the Giving Tuesday movement is the concept of the “unselfie,” or photo of someone or something giving back that is shared via social media.

With less than two weeks to go before Giving Tuesday, social media platform and photo sharing application Instagram has nearly 2,000 photos attached to it using the social media hashtag #unselfie.

After all, social media sites like Instagram and Twitter are like the oxygen animating the charitable donation lifeblood in Giving Tuesday’s effort to revolutionize philanthropy.

“We are so lucky to live in a time when you can leverage” social media in philanthropy, Sherinian said.

And with more than 100 million Instagram users, according to the Instagram official site, the #unselfie is a trend that's bound to catch on.

"People share images of what they ate for dinner and what they're wearing and what concert they are at,” said Sherinian. “The unselfie says I want to catch me or my friends doing something to show us giving back. That's not braggy. It's just smart."

The positive peer pressure like the unselfie will encourage a nation, and perhaps a globe, to give back.

"We're living in extraordinary times. You don't have to be famous or a billionaire; you don't have to be an expert to be a really good, authentic giver," Sherinian said.

Email: ebuchanan@deseretnews.com

Twitter: emmiliewhitlock

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