It’s that time of year again.
This weekend I battled against a tide of shoppers as I followed my brother to look at MP3 players. The shops were heaving with people. Why were so many people crowded in John Lewis on a Friday morning?
Black Friday, of course.
This post first appeared on Giving What We Can on Tuesday 1st December 2015
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which is said to signal the beginning of the shopping season in the run up to Christmas. It has spread from the US to other countries. Last year, Black Friday became the biggest UK shopping day of the year for the first time.
Yet, despite all the hype around the Black Friday weekend and despite the noticeable crowds, sales have actually fallen 10% compared to the same weekend last year.
Why might this be?
Well, retailers have been running sales for a lot longer to mitigate some of the chaos seen in stores in 2014. There has also been a big surge in online sales. During yesterday’s Cyber Monday shoppers wereexpected to spend almost £1bn online, almost a third more than last year, according to analysts at Experian-IMRG.
And perhaps people are looking for an alternative to relentless offers, adverts and spending.
If you are one of those people today is a day for you.
What is #GivingTuesday?
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving.
It has grown into a global movement, covering countries like The United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Canada, much of Latin America and Israel. It is an opportunity to come together to show the world why it’s good to give. Whether it’s making a donation, volunteering your time or just spreading the word, #GivingTuesday is here to encourage and remind us to give something back this festive season.
The simple idea behind #GivingTuesday is to encourage people, charities and businesses to donate time, money or their voice to help a good cause.
According to some estimates the average spend per person on Black Friday in the US was $380.95. Even donating half of that instead could provide 25 anti malarial bed nets or 95 deworming tablets.
This shows that giving needn’t be a sacrifice, it is simply a different way to spend your money. It is a chance to do something really meaningful with your hard earned cash.
What can I do?
Give to the best charities
According to research by the Charities Aid Foundation, 35% of people in Britain say they will donate today as part of #GivingTuesday.
If true, this is fantastic.
By donating to the best charities you can do even more. Giving What We Can’s top charities are recommended because they do the most good with your donations. If you give to them this #GivingTuesday you know you’ll be helping as many people as possible.
For less than $7.50 you provide someone with a bednet to protect them against malaria if you give to the Against Malaria Foundation. That’s the best deal you’ll see all weekend.
Donate your Christmas
Instead of sending your loved ones out into the sales to try and guess at what you might like, why not donate your Christmas this year? Ask friends and family to donate to a high impact charity for you as a gift rather than risking another novelty jumper. It is a lovely way to share the holiday season and give back.
Charity Science have done all the hard work for you with their popular Christmas fundraiser.
(psst you know what to get me for Christmas now!)
Spread the word
Why not help us show others how much we can achieve by donating to the charities that do the most good?
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Take the pledge
#GivingTuesday is a fantastic way to get people thinking about giving – but it doesn’t have to stop there. Giving What We Can’s members (myself included!) donate 10% of their income (1% for students, the unemployed and pensioners) to charities that will have the biggest impact.
If a typical US citizen gave 10% of his or her income to the right NGO, then every year they could distribute 700 mosquito nets, preventing 190 cases of malaria and 2 deaths, or treat 7,100 people for neglected tropical diseases.
Even if you are not ready for the full pledge you can Try Giving and choose the amount you give.
So far Giving What We Can members have donated over $10 million to tackle extreme poverty, which is just incredible.
Together we can make a big difference. So give generously, give effectively and do good this #GivingTuesday.