What #GivingTuesday Makes Possible

What does #GivingTuesday make possible?

And what if that potential is far more than just money?

That is a question that Debra Askanase asked a year ago, as she pondered, “Where is the community in GivingTuesday?” This is not surprising if you know Debra, as her website is called Community 2.0, and all her work centers around community engagement.

It is now a year later.  As Debra notes in her post this year, “This year, #GivingTuesday is starting to become a communal experience, not just in the giving… or almost requisite ask for donations… but in the desire to come together to discuss generosity and giving as a community.”

As you consider the power of #GivingTuesday, we hope the following get your juices flowing about the potential of this day.

Debra Askanase will be participating with several other gurus in the community benefit world, in a conversation about GivingTuesday. The conversation is being hosted by NTEN – the Nonprofit Tech Network. The event will happen on GivingTuesday itself – December 2 – at 11am US Pacific time.  You can register for free at this link. 

Imagine if that spirit of conversation were the real meaning of GivingTuesday – a day to invite people who care about the same thing you care about, to join in a public conversation about that topic, without wanting any money from them at all!

In her blog post today, Beth Kanter gives a great example of extending the spirit of GivingTuesday into everyday life. She shares that this year during GivingTuesday, she is in Brazil, speaking at a completely unrelated conference. Because of the timing, though, she asked the folks at GivingTuesday.org for a contact person in Brazil. That led not only to a great connection, but to inviting that connection to join her as part of the NTEN conversation linked a few paragraphs above this one!

Imagine if that spirit of connection were the real meaning of GivingTuesday – a day to reach out and meet people of similar interests, and to invite them to be an integral part of the work you’re doing, without wanting money from them at all!

Lastly, in my most recent blog post at Huffington Post, I asked what it would make possible if GivingTuesday were a day for people in communities everywhere to share what they have with each other, including organizations sharing with other organizations.  

Imagine if that spirit of Collective Enoughness were the real meaning of GivingTuesday – a day to celebrate the power that already exists within all community benefit orgs, where everyone in a community gave to each other, without wanting money from them at all!

It seems like the real potential of GivingTuesday harkens back to the original Greek meaning of Philanthropy, “Love of Humanity.” What if GivingTuesday were a day to be in community with each other, from a place of deep caring – not just caring about the specific target audience you are hoping to help, but caring about everyone, simply because we are all human?

That would not only be a wonderful day to celebrate; it would be a wonderful inspiration to live up to for the other 364 days in the year.

One Response to What #GivingTuesday Makes Possible
  1. Amy Sample Ward
    December 2, 2014 | 2:47 am

    Hildy, this is a great compilation of sentiments, hopes, and plans- I love it! Thank you for sharing, too, that we are having the community call tomorrow! I’m really excited to have everyone on the line together to see how we can keep this conversation going.

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