It’s coming quickly – Giving Tuesday, December 3rd, this year, a day designated to give and inspire a spirit of giving. Since many of our clients are nonprofits, it’s a special day on their calendars, when they aim to get in on the action and capture some of those generous feels, converting them to monetary support for their work.
Except, what happens when everyone wants in on the action of Giving Tuesday? Is it a problem when we designate one day to stand for giving and generosity? Wouldn’t it be better to use that day to create a spark of generosity that permeates the entire year?
Think about it … do we only wait for Father’s Day to show love to our dads? Are we only spiritual on designated big holidays like Christmas or Easter or Passover?
Or are these special days supposed to remind us of concepts and behaviors that, ideally, we want to embody year-round?
The problem with Giving Tuesday is that everyone’s asking, and everyone’s giving. But people only give so much, and in so many directions.
Years ago, when Your People Chief Creative Officer Lynne Golodner was building her nonprofit, One Earth Writing, she reached out to long-time friends whom she thought might appreciate and support the organization’s focus to connect teens across racial, religious, and socioeconomic divides through writing. Some people gave generously. Others didn’t respond at all.
And then there were a few who wrote back with explanations. “I give to specific charities already; there isn’t room for another one.”
They had their causes, their focuses, destinations for their dollars. Fair enough. And interesting.
We each have trigger points for generosity. Perhaps you lost someone to cancer and have made it a priority to support specific cancer research efforts. Perhaps you are an animal lover and want to end brutality toward our four-legged friends.
Perhaps climate change sparks your concern, so you support environmentally-focused efforts. Or maybe it’s a confluence of places and institutions that you have visited and immersed in during your life journey – your alma mater, your neighborhood, your parents’ rest home, your faith community.
Whatever the reason, we have distinct decision-making capabilities that drive donations. So where does that leave Giving Tuesday?
We work with several clients to position their efforts in a way that maximizes exposure on Giving Tuesday while being mindful of building far-reaching, long-range relationships with the people they’d most like to support their efforts.
True giving is not a one-day endeavor. It’s a lifelong pursuit. And how much more effective and meaningful would it be if the person you reach on Giving Tuesday develops a fondness for what you do, and all that you are, transcending a single-day, quick-hit donation?
Mother Teresa said, “It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.”
By loving our clients, we show them the greatness in seeing the big picture, rising above a single day to embody a mission, a pursuit, a journey toward true success. This Giving Tuesday, stand out from the crowd by building relationships that last and generate loyalty. Pull people into your mission. See the forest for the trees, the big picture. It’s not a donation on one day that will make or break you; it’s the alliances you form and the mutual benefit you generate.