Prosperity is not the wealth of a few, but the well being of many. It’s something I came to believe after seeing the damaging knock-on effect of the global economic meltdown as it cascaded from Wall Street to Main Street to people’s jobs, healthcare and happiness all around the world. Yet here we are, several sobering years down the road and disparity of wealth continues to escalate to historic levels as income gains are shared with fewer individuals (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities). As more people find themselves on the wrong side of the prosperity equation, it’s easy to give up hope, to assume it will always be a race to get the most as fast as possible, and to ultimately resign yourself to the fact that it will always be this way. That’s why #GivingTuesday is so important.
Tomorrow, on December 1st, we all have a chance to celebrate generosity to others. Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday is a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday that represents the height of frenzied over-consumption. Instead, #GivingTuesday is a celebration of giving to others, of the power of philanthropy to change lives, and to making a meaningful difference in the world.
Created by the 92 Street Y in NY, the idea of #GivingTuesday is simple. Leverage the power of social media to encourage and celebrate giving to your local communities. Donations can come in the form of time, resources or talents, and contributors come from all sectors including corporations, businesses, non-profits and civic organizations.
The most powerful aspect of #GivingTuesday is the fact that most contributions are small acts of kindness. Yet with 30,000+ partners in 68 countries in 2014, there has been a 470% increase in donations since its inception in 2012 that amounted to $45 million in giving to non-profits worldwide.
As such, #GivingTuesday is a powerful, global demonstration of our desire and capacity to take care of each other. It serves as a critical reminder that true fulfillment comes from giving to others rather than solely getting for oneself. It shows that partners of all types can come together around shared values and a common purpose to touch countless lives on a scale that would otherwise be unimaginable.
Everything you need to participate can be found at GivingTuesday.org, including toolkits to share news of the event across your own social media channels, and you can join the movement by becoming a partner here. It’s the perfect way to kick-off a holiday fundraising campaign or you can simply contribute through #GivingTuesday to save the trouble of creating your own campaign. Either way, there are case studies on the website that show you what has worked well in previous years.
#GivingTuesday is a chance for all of us to contribute to something we care about and to improve the lives of others. By working together, we can send a powerful message that true wealth comes from making sure that everyone’s life is better and tip the balance of prosperity a little in the favor of everyone.