Monday, November 28, 2016


In Visual Literacy today, we talked about campaigns for social change. The Ad Council has been sponsoring social change for decades; some current, familiar causes are sexual assault prevention (primarily through It's On Us - watch one of the public service announcements below), fatherhood involvement, and recycling.

One campaign for social change that has its annual kickoff tomorrow (and has been popping up all over my Twitter) is #GivingTuesday. After Thanksgiving Thursday (a day of eating) and Black Friday/Cyber Monday (days of shopping), #GivingTuesday is intended to help people kick off the season of charity by encouraging them to help out in their community. As the #GivingTuesday website states, "#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration." It also states that last year, over 700,000 people in over 70 countries raised $116,000,000 online through the campaign. That's simply incredible!

Image used with permission from Steven H. Vanderwerff on WikiMedia Commons

While it seems as though this day could only bring about good things, I have to examine this campaign with a critical eye. After reading a bit about #GivingTuesday on sites such as Mashable and Forbes, I am left with some questions. First, where is all of the money raised on #GivingTuesday going? Does the organization itself use the money to fund it's own do-good projects, or do they donate the money to other groups? Another question I have is how do we turn this from a one-day event into a longer project? While I think it's great that people are taking time on #GivingTuesday to give back, this is only a drop in the bucket if we consider all of the service we could do if #GivingTuesday lasted longer than just one day in November. Would people be as enthusiastic about a seasonal or monthly event as well, or would that cause less people to participate? One last question that is immediately coming to mind is how do we reach those who do not have technology? #GivingTuesday even has a hashtag in its name; honestly, I don't think I would have known about the event if not for Twitter. So how do we get the word out about this campaign to folks who don't have Twitter? Reaching a wider audience would surely encourage more people to participate, only leading to greater community outreach across the world.

Image used with permission from Joshua J. Wahl on WikiMedia Commons

I am looking forward to participating in my first #GivingTuesday tomorrow! Have you ever participated in a community project (or even just donated money) on #GivingTuesday? Please share about it in the comments!

Image used with permission from Jennifer A. Villalovos on WikiMedia Commons

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