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A Bigger, Bolder #GivingTuesday

     
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Today is Black Friday and the holiday season is officially open. That means a few things: today (for those who didn’t get an early start yesterday), holiday shoppers are engaged in the Black Friday retail frenzy. At the end of today, retail sales will likely be in the billions of dollars. Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and shoppers are encouraged to spend their money supporting small local businesses in their own communities. After a day of rest on Sunday, we’re back at it with Cyber Monday — the online shopping event of the holiday season.

And then we get to Tuesday. At TwitChange, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is our favorite day of this commercial-crazed holiday kickoff. It’s #GivingTuesday.

In 2012, the 92nd Street Y teamed up with the UN Foundation and other partners to launch a day of giving. In its first year, #GivingTuesday partnered with 2,500 non-profits and charitable organizations; this year, that number tops more than 18,000. For #GivingTuesday 2014, an unprecedented number of U.S. organizations will be participating with a wide range of creative initiatives to inspire their employees, customers, and constituents together with the American public, to support a varied and exciting groups of causes. After #GivingTuesday 2012, data showed online giving up 53% compared to the same day the previous year. In 2013, that number increased 90%!

The #GivingTuesday movement, since its launch in 2012, has reflected the generosity of people around the world. A diverse set of dedicated partners and supporters have proven that the future of giving is bright and that when it comes to philanthropy, a day that brings people together paired with the force of social media has the power to transform societies.

How to get involved with #GivingTuesday

  1. Give.
    Give food. Give thanks. Give time. Give money. Give big. Give small. Give just because.
  2. #UnSelfie
    Show your support for #GivingTuesday. Take a pic, tag it #unselfie and #givingtuesday, and upload it to your Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook from now till Dec. 2.
  1. Giving Tower
    This year builds on the momentum of 2012 and 2013, and with Giving Tower, a new and creative initiative put together by CrowdRise, the world can experience, brick by brick, the philanthropic impact of #GivingTuesday. The Giving Tower will be built using augmented reality.

    Launched on Nov. 25, 2014 and running through the official start of the giving season, Dec. 2, 2014, the world will be able to watch the Giving Tower grow and compare the height of the Tower to iconic buildings at CrowdRise.com/GivingTower. Watch the Giving Tower grow from your smartphone in augmented reality. The Giving Tower app will work by pointing your phone at a number of targets: an image on your computer, a specific PDF or at a $1 bill. Download the free Giving Tower app from the iTunes store and Google Play.

    You can also visit the Giving Tower in a few real-life locations including the Worldwide Plaza at 50th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, United Terminal B at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, TX, and on the grounds of the Washington Monument at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., in coordination with the Trust for the National Mall.

    Everyone who donates to the Giving Tower gets a brick in the Tower with their picture and the cause they donated to. All the individual bricks will stack up to create the Giving Tower. As people all over the world donate to the causes they care about, everyone will be able to watch the Giving Tower grow.Founding supporters of CrowdRise’s Giving Tower include such respected organizations as 92nd Street Y, American Red Cross, Eventbrite, the It Gets Better Project, March of Dimes, NFL, Robin Hood, United Nations Foundation, United Airlines and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

    As a founding partner, UN Foundation is helping to power the communications and digital strategy of Giving Tower. The UN Foundation’s Families Giving Globally activation on the CrowdRise Giving Tower is tapping into the power of you and your network to support the health and well-being of women, children and families on #GivingTuesday through the Shot@Life, Nothing But Nets and Girl Up campaigns.

    “In its first year, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us [UN Foundation] to engage our global network of champions, UN supporters, partners and employees in something new and creative,” said Anastasia Dellaccio, Outreach and Special Initiatives Officer for United Nations Foundation.

    Featured organizations of Giving Tower include: the ALS Association, the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of America, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Every Mother Counts, just keep livin foundation, Malala Fund, Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, PATH, Trust for the National Mall and USA for UNHCR.

    Celebrities including Kristen Bell, Edward Norton, Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey, Toni Collette, Timbaland, and Kat Graham, among others, will be launching their own fundraisers and contests in the Giving Tower Campaign.

Melody Harstine Foster

Written by

I'm a freelance writer with a penchant for Pugs and a portfolio of articles from tech to beauty and beyond. A communicator at heart, my true passion is covering issues promoting positive change in our world. Connect with me on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or at melodyharstine.com.