On January 25, we hosted our first Webinar of the year where we talked to Asha Curran, the CEO of Giving Tuesday and Catherine Mwendwa, the hub director of Giving Tuesday in East Africa. Giving Tuesday is an event that began back in 2012, according to Curran. The purpose of Giving Tuesday is just a day for people to give back.
“The idea was very simple: the idea was too good, to have a day to give back following the days of consuming we have in the U.S. known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.” Curran said.
Curran stated that they don’t typically use that comparison anymore considering that Giving Tuesday has now become a global trend as it has been around for the past 11 years. The movement itself has even grown into a full year-round movement that can only be described as “Global Generosity”.
“Multiple Sectors, Families, Communities, and more have become involved in this movement and formed multiple collaborative campaigns and multiple coalition campaigns. They all seem to form not because of their organizations, but on behalf of what they commonly believe in which is very lovely so see.” Curran Said.
Curran talked about how one of the biggest gifts people usually gave is money, but efforts have shown that more are turning towards campaigns of generosity and while money is still a gift, its only one of many that people give. Mwendwa also commented on this by stating how Generosity is shown where she’s from in East Africa.
“Generosity happens, it’s a way of life, it’s a form of solidarity, and it’s a way people connect. Generosity truly is one of the biggest values a person can have.” Mwendwa Said.
Giving Tuesday began back in 2012 and since then has grown into a year-round global trend. this year marks Giving Tuesday’s 11th year. Giving Tuesday in the past couple years has seemed to raise major amounts of money globally, in 2021, over 2.7 Bn dollars was raised in a single day. This was broken in 2022 when a new record of 3.1 Bn dollars was made on Giving Tuesday of 2022.
“It is amazing how those dollars have grown; I honestly think what makes Giving Tuesday such a successful day from a global perspective is that it’s a day that people who give feel like they’re giving in a community with one another. People want to feel like they’re a part of something bigger than themselves and we all want to feel like that.” Curran said.
Curran continued with explaining how people especially want to feel like that when joining movements that also help around the world because on Giving Tuesday, movements tend to make their voices heard and giveback to those who have given to them first. Curran expresses that donor acquisition also tends to be high that day because many people who have never given before will tend to start giving on a day such as Giving Tuesday. Mwendwa tended to describe it all as a form of “Radical Generosity”.
“I think one of the things we’ve seen Giving Tuesday inspire, especially on a continental level is collaboration. This means communities are building on the generosity movements that are defined by Giving Tuesday, and they’ve all come together to find ways that they can do things differently.” Mwendwa said.
Mwendwa says a prime example of this is communities that give back and make movements to support their alumni communities, and it’s also nice to see that many communities view Giving Tuesday as a way for the mall to connect with each other on a global scale.
She also had something to say when it came to a question on how Black-owned Businesses, small businesses, and non-profits could participate in Giving Tuesday, she believes the easiest way is to just collaborate with others.
“I think a lot happens if businesses or people just collaborate with one another. They’re able to communicate and mobilize communities around them. Other simple ways that businesses and non-profits can be involved is just by simply nudging a talent, providing apprenticeships or utilities to those in their environment.” Mwendwa said.
Curran chimed in to say that for Giving Tuesday as a model, it’s become a handle to other movements.
“There’s many campaigns within Giving Tuesday such as: Latin x give, Give Black, Native ways and Native gives. From this, we see all these different communities come together and begin to form coalition campaigns.” Curran said.
Curran further stated that these type of joined campaigns can be defined informally as “Mission over Brand” which means instead of raising money for one organization, organizations are coming together to raise money for each other and other organizations around them.
Mwendwa added on to the answer by talking about how people in the African Diaspora tend to act as communities coming together to make other movements.
“In the Africa hub and with the leaders we work with, what people tend to do is create workspaces for co-creating ideas and campaigns, but also leverage each other to mobilize other communities across the continent.” Mwendwa said.
Mwendwa furthermore stated that the best way people can engage and help across the continent and globally is by helping create other platforms, networking with other movements as well as creating social movements to overall create a collective approach to what people want to support on a continental level.
“A good example of this is a movement named Africans Rising. What they’re doing is connecting with other Diaspora communities across the world, but also is made from supporters of many different campaigns within the continent. They use that platform to connect with other leaders across the continents and identify what message they want to pass across to gain more supporters from various causes.” Mwendwa said.
For those interested in wanting to get involved or learn more about Giving Tuesday, Information is located at their website GivingTuesday.org.
Interview anchored by: Katy-Ann McDonald & Adedayo Fashanu
Written and transcribed by: Charles Buckley
Social Media: Pieterjan Eyckmans & Karesha Graham