The real Giving Tuesday is on a Monday this year

Today is #GivingTuesday™ (I think you’re required to spell it with the hashtag and the trademark).

The idea for this holiday is pretty straightforward: There’s a day for shopping like crazy (Black Friday), and a day for shopping online like crazy (Cyber Monday). Why not a day for giving?

I’m all for anything that encourages people to give. But there’s a problem with Giving Tuesday: It’s not real. It was made up by marketers. It’s an attempt to create something that isn’t there.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday weren’t cooked up by marketers. Both of those days are named for actions lots of real people were already doing. Marketers do their best to connect with those behaviors.

Trying to concoct a new behavior-based “Day” out of thin air is a tall order. You could spend billions promoting it and not any meaningful difference.

I wish the creators of Giving Tuesday had spent some time thinking about actual donor behavior, because they would have realized there’s already a “Giving Tuesday.” It’s on a Monday this year. It’s December 31.

Online giving spikes on December 31. It’s the largest giving day of the year for most fundraisers online.

Why try to force donors into an artificial behavior, when you could simply observe what they already do and encourage more of them to do more of it? That’s how you can really get traction. And revenue.


Comments

12 responses to “The real Giving Tuesday is on a Monday this year”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  3. Jeff Brooks, I’ve never loved you more. Thanks for articulating the voice in the back of my head that hasn’t has time to put together a coherent response or reaction to this. Now I don’t have to. I can simply hit “forward.”

  4. Jeff Brooks, I’ve never loved you more. Thanks for articulating the voice in the back of my head that hasn’t has time to put together a coherent response or reaction to this. Now I don’t have to. I can simply hit “forward.”

  5. “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online…
    “Black Friday” was never the busiest shopping day of the year until marketers started selling it as so…
    Just sayin’ my friend.

  6. “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online…
    “Black Friday” was never the busiest shopping day of the year until marketers started selling it as so…
    Just sayin’ my friend.

  7. Hey Jeff — I completely agree that it’s so difficult to create movement or shape behavior. The only difference I have with you is that if there’s a little momentum for Giving Tuesday, why not swim in that current? It’s early in the day, but our clients are seeing some nice lifts in online giving so far today. And since all the push has been social and online with no changing of existing plans it’s possible that this little uptick is all new donations. We’ll see when we total out the year!
    Great thinking as always.
    st

  8. Hey Jeff — I completely agree that it’s so difficult to create movement or shape behavior. The only difference I have with you is that if there’s a little momentum for Giving Tuesday, why not swim in that current? It’s early in the day, but our clients are seeing some nice lifts in online giving so far today. And since all the push has been social and online with no changing of existing plans it’s possible that this little uptick is all new donations. We’ll see when we total out the year!
    Great thinking as always.
    st

  9. It seems to me that ‘Giving Tuesday’ was thought up as an antidote to mindless consumerism void of any meaning. That said, you’re right, December 31 is the day-of-all-days for charitable giving. In fact, according to Network for Good, 15% of all giving in December happens on the last day of the year, and mostly within 7 hours in midday. Here’s the link: http://s-im.us/givingdec31. –Happy Holidays

  10. It seems to me that ‘Giving Tuesday’ was thought up as an antidote to mindless consumerism void of any meaning. That said, you’re right, December 31 is the day-of-all-days for charitable giving. In fact, according to Network for Good, 15% of all giving in December happens on the last day of the year, and mostly within 7 hours in midday. Here’s the link: http://s-im.us/givingdec31. –Happy Holidays

  11. I agree with the point that Giving Tuesday has the potential to be hollow and trite, and obviously also with the point that December 31 is already the biggest giving day of the year. Further, there’s no denying that Giving Tuesday was a dreamt-up idea, although to be fair it was created by marketers hired by nonprofits, not by marketers.
    What I’d offer, though, is that there’s really nothing good about the biggest giving day of the year being the LAST day of the year. I applaud *any* effort to try to shift that giving earlier in the year. I’m not sure I understand the downside.
    Further, with the incessant drone of BUY-BUY-BUY that now starts weeks before Thanksgiving and floods every single media channel, I like the idea of trying to mesh in some other message — if only for balance.

  12. I agree with the point that Giving Tuesday has the potential to be hollow and trite, and obviously also with the point that December 31 is already the biggest giving day of the year. Further, there’s no denying that Giving Tuesday was a dreamt-up idea, although to be fair it was created by marketers hired by nonprofits, not by marketers.
    What I’d offer, though, is that there’s really nothing good about the biggest giving day of the year being the LAST day of the year. I applaud *any* effort to try to shift that giving earlier in the year. I’m not sure I understand the downside.
    Further, with the incessant drone of BUY-BUY-BUY that now starts weeks before Thanksgiving and floods every single media channel, I like the idea of trying to mesh in some other message — if only for balance.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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