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Giving Tuesday – a movement beyond the hashtag

By Tanya Leigh

1 December 2015

#GivingTuesday launched in the US in December 2012 as a global day of giving back, aimed at balancing out the consumer flurry caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

On Tuesday 1st December 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centres, and students will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give back. This is no longer a US sensation and has been catapulted globally, reaching places such as Canada, Australia, Singapore, Latin America and Israel.

Last year saw the first #GivingTuesday campaign in the UK, coordinated by The Charities Aid Foundation and Blackbaud, into which the UK got thoroughly stuck in. Figures from a variety of sources have shown that Blackbaud, reported a 270% increase in donations, compared to 3rd December 2013; Just Giving reported an 80% increase in text donations; and Visa saw a 10% increase in donations overall. This equated to £2,500 donated every minute. Not only that, it was massive on social media in 2014: #GivingTuesday was trending on Twitter for 11 hours and there were around 30,000 tweets on the day.

Yes, these are all brilliant statistics and it is inspiring that so many people joined in the conversations on one day, but using a hashtag or liking something on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean the action and participation will continue. It shouldn’t be all about the statistics; it should also be about creating a community that will protect the longevity of the cause, for more than one day.

It’s not always about making a loud noise then letting the silence creep in. Here at Forster we believe it’s about maintaining relationships and keeping up momentum so that positive change can be made and passed along to others. This is why last week we launched our Activation practice, demonstrating to our existing clients and future clients that we want to help create PR campaigns that encourage people to try and be their very best throughout the year, whether this is through supporting a cause, being better consumers or joining a movement – every little bit helps.

So today, when you hopefully join in the action by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag, or sharing a much loved gif (my favourite option, as my fellow colleagues will confirm), don’t simply hide behind it. Think: what can I do to prolong the hashtag, and make a real difference down the line? As for me, my giving will continue as I stand in Covent Garden, in the freezing cold this Saturday 5th December, dressed as a sandwich board, holding a Christmas pudding for the 35th Annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in aid of Cancer Research UK. @TLeigh050

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