City Philanthropy Editor Jack Stewart shares his thoughts on why we should be adopting Giving Tuesday instead of Black Friday this year.
One in three Brits has admitted that they will waste money on Black Friday, according to a poll by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). 44% of 18-24 year olds and 50% of Londoners said they are likely to buy something they do not need.
The fact that people already know that they are wasting money on Black Friday ‘deals’ demonstrates that this tradition isn't all it's cracked up to be and is perhaps best left to the Americans. In fact, we are already starting to see a backlash against it in the UK.
Asda, one of the large retailers responsible for bringing Black Friday to our shores in 2013, has announced that it will not be marking the day this year. This is likely due to the bad press the retailer received last year after images of people fighting over big screen TVs dominated the news.
There is, however, one day that the Brits should adopt wholeheartedly: Giving Tuesday, which takes place on December 1st. This day, another import from across the pond, is a day of giving and generosity to kick-start the festive season.
Giving Tuesday started in the US in 2012 and was brought to the UK for the first time, officially, in 2014 as an antidote to the consumer focused days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Coordinated in the UK by CAF and Blackbaud the day saw over 820 official partners help to reach 61m people through press and social media. According to Blackbaud donations were up 270% compared to the previous year and donations processed by Visa totalled £2500 every minute.
2015’s Giving Tuesday promises to be even bigger and more successful. Already over 1000 partners have signed up, including large companies such as RBS, Microsoft and Morrisons. The day provides a perfect opportunity to forget about buying presents and give back to society.
Here are five easy ways to get involved with Giving Tuesday:
1. Fundraise - group together with some friends or colleagues and raise some cash for a charity of your choice.
2. Give your voice - Speak up for a cause you care about on social media.
3. Make someone's day - Perform a random act of kindness for someone in need.
4. Give your time - Spend some time volunteering with a local charity and supporting your community.
5. Give as you shop - Do your Christmas shopping through a site like Give As You Live and you can bag a bargain and still raise money for charity.
Follow #GivingTuesday on Twitter to find out the latest news