As you probably heard if you spend any time online, which is everyone reading this, yesterday was Giving Tuesday, a day created by a consortium of nonprofits to emphasize charity during the busiest shopping period of the year.
Interestingly, in addition to garnering a great deal of attention (and from what I've heard from our clients, creating an actual spike in giving), Giving Tuesday has inspired criticism from some circles as being the exact kind of commercialized, homogenized pseudo-caring it has been designed to counteract. Notably, both Tim Odgen in SSIR and Jeff Brooks in Future Fundraising Now -- neither a slouch in the space -- have written with some cynicism about the effort.
I agree with the point that Giving Tuesday has the potential to be hollow and trite, and obviously also with Jeff's 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.
I get the cynicism, I really do. But isn't combatting that cynicism the whole point?