Most of us who are Generation X or older can remember when there was only Thanksgiving and the day after Thanksgiving. The latter, since many of us have the day off, is traditionally a big holiday shopping opportunity. Over the years, it acquired its own designation – Black Friday – and became a retail phenomenon, with special promotions and store hours.
In 2005, the term Cyber Monday came to be applied to the Monday after Thanksgiving – when consumers, especially those without internet access at home, returned to work and used their office computers to shop online (on their breaks, we hope!).
Seven years later, in response to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday commercialism juggernaut, New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation created a new movement: Giving Tuesday – or, as it’s frequently styled for the social media age, #GivingTuesday. Since the movement began, hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated to charities on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Many charitable organizations have incorporated Giving Tuesday into their fundraising efforts, and many non-charities, from businesses to professional associations, encourage their employees, members and friends to participate.
While Giving Tuesday is a convenient occasion for making charitable donations, it doesn’t have to be the only one. At ADG, we have a number of ways to help those in need.
ADG has worked with a number of charitable organizations on fundraising, communications and other projects. This exposes our staff to a variety of worthy causes, which they are encouraged — but never required — to support.
For one such organization, we have encouraged our team members who shop on Amazon.com to register with AmazonSmile and designate this group — a humanitarian organization providing medical care and nutrition services in Africa — as the charity of their choice. For each eligible purchase they make through the smile.amazon.com portal, Amazon donates a percentage of its profit to the designated charity.
Another giving tradition is annual participation in our local family services agency’s Adopt-A-Family program. Each holiday season, we receive information about a family in need and invite our staff to purchase items from their wish list. We spend part of one December workday having a wrapping party, where we enjoy refreshments and wrap the gifts for “our” family.
Several of our client associations also have their own giving initiatives: setting up their own charitable foundations and scholarship funds, creating memorial funds or campaigns in honor of a valued member who has passed, and collecting donations at their meetings and conferences. One regional chapter of a state association recently combined the last two, renaming its annual Toys for Tots appeal “Toys for Ted” in memory of a beloved member who died this year.
We are association people, and our faith in the power of people working together is in our DNA. While fundraising appeals love to remind prospective donors that “every little bit helps,” working with like-minded people helps a lot, too. Use the power of your association to do good in the world – on Giving Tuesday and every day.