Black Friday and Cyber Monday have seen Christmas shoppers eager to bag a bargain again this year. But the Charities Aid Foundation hope to be the antidote to the shopping frenzy with their campaign #GivingTuesday.
What Black Friday and Cyber Monday lack in compassion and kindness, #GivingTuesday hopes to remedy, refocusing the attention on giving back to charities and communities.
“It’s a global movement. It’s quite a simple concept, a day to give back,” said Charities Aid Foundation head of policy and campaigns Hannah Terrey, who coordinates the campaign in the UK.
“It’s an opportunity for people once they’ve got a deal or bagged a bargain to do something to give back to support causes that they care about. #GivingTuesday encourages people to give time, money, or to simply just talk about the charities and causes that are important to them.”
This year, more than 1,300 charities and businesses are planning #GivingTuesday promotional activities.
According to a poll conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation, it might even lift your mood.
The majority of people (53%) questioned said that supporting charities makes them happy. This compared to 41% who said the same of shopping.
Those figures may not be surprising, given that brutal fights again broke out in American malls at the weekend. Shoppers pushed and shoved – and even in some cases got involved in full-on brawls – to grab a bargain TV or kitchen appliance.
Terrey remains positive that there is another side to the season.
“We know there is a huge appetite among the public to come together to do something that is about giving back as well as getting,” she said.
“That’s why #GivingTuesday is a great opportunity for people at the start of what is traditionally the giving season of Christmas.”
In Chicago, INSP member StreetWise is running a mini campaign on Twitter using quotes and photos of their vendors for #GivingTuesday.
Creative Director of StreetWise Dave Hamilton said: “I think that one of the draws of #GivingTuesday is that it really capitalises on the joy and sense of community that the holiday season brings.
“In Chicago, the temperatures are really starting to drop, and it is getting much harder to be able to sell the paper for long periods of time. Even still, this giving season always brings a spike in sales, and we see better sales numbers in December, second only to the busy summer.
“The #GivingTuesday campaign has really drawn attention to how hard our vendors are trying to better themselves, and gives the public a gentle reminder to support them, and us, in our efforts.”
In the UK, Big Issue North is also getting involved.
“This year, for #GivingTuesday, we are taking to social media to encourage people to support our vendors, telling individual stories of the difference that buying the magazine can make to the lives of those who sell it,” said Big Issue North’s assistant director, Emma Eaton.
“We always like to support #GivingTuesday – it’s a great reminder that it’s good to give, especially at this time of year.”
So if you’re already feeling buyer’s remorse from your weekend purchases, Charities Aid Foundation has a simple message.
“If you buy something in the sale that you don’t really need, why not give it to charity?” said Terrey. “Or donate some of the savings that you made in buying that TV or latest gizmo, give it away and do something amazing with it.”