Along with her group of friends, Isabel celebrates the invisible friend at Christmas. This year they have advanced the raffle of gifts to take advantage of the discounts and offers of the week of Black Friday. Like her, more and more people take advantage of these days to buy gifts or a special product at a lower price. The discounts and offers that occur around the black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Monday of sales in electronic commerce), makes that for many retail companies these dates represent up to 30% of their annual sales, according to data from the Salesforce consultancy.
However, taking advantage of this consumer trend, initiatives have arisen that seek to promote other types of values. Giving Tuesday (the “Tuesday to give or share”), although it does not have as great a visibility as the other two dates, is an example of a trend that is gradually gaining more presence in society. Like others, this initiative also originated in the United States. Created in 2012, it has now spread to some 80 countries, but with one fundamental difference: in front of the promotion of purchases and consumption, it establishes a special day to promote generosity.
In Spain, Giving Tuesday celebrates its seventh edition this year. Juan Mezo, founding partner of Valores y Marketing, one of the promoter companies nationwide, explains its purpose. “The objective of this day is to counteract the consumption of Black Friday and promote philanthropy and solidarity (…) We have spread this initiative so that it generates community, that people are encouraged to contribute to the many social causes that exist. It’s like an oil stain that spreads ”. Covered by different NGOs and also businesses, the event seeks to encourage and mobilize by spreading the concept of sharing and giving visibility to the projects and organizations that have joined, either by donating food, clothing, money and promoting volunteer actions.
“We would like the same companies that say ‘this week is Black Friday and these are the offers’, would also think: ‘this week is Giving Tuesday, collaborate’ (…) The great challenge is to reach citizens. Companies are doing little things, but it costs a lot ”, Mezo reflects.
In 2020, Giving Tuesday in Spain made visible some 300 actions and obtained almost 500,000 euros of donations
The promoters of the initiative are mainly NGOs and foundations. “We want to join in and have our own day, ask for awareness and collaboration. It is an alternative not as a contrast, but as a day to add. We work daily on campaigns to try to encourage collaboration without receiving anything physical in return. In the end, what the people with whom we collaborate get is gratitude and a feeling that we are doing something for others ”, explains Aida San José, head of the Giving Tuesday campaign at Doctors Without Borders. This year, the medical NGO presents a project that seeks to raise funds for the childhood vaccination campaign against pneumonia, a disease that causes the death of one in five children in the world. “We do not want to add only money, but people who want to support our work and be next to those we support. They are collaborators who contribute different amounts and that, for us, is our great value ”.
Marta Femia, responsible for fundraising At Fundación Anesvad, it coincides with the importance of this date to strengthen the relationship with donors and other collaborators working on the idea of belonging to a community. “Giving Tuesday allows us to network with different non-profit organizations. Get together and delve into this concept of celebrating a day to give, putting it on the calendar; and it is very interesting to do it globally. Defend that the cause of solidarity belongs to no one and is above all ”.
Solidarity in the business environment
Contributing on a social level is something that can be done from the company. Jorge Mas, founder of the Creamas consulting firm and author of the book Retail Power, It is clear that the problem is not dates like Black Friday, but the excessive consumption to which we have become accustomed as a society. “I am in favor of a day of consumption, but responsible: let’s land again. On the one hand, we are introducing values such as sustainability and responsible consumption, and now comes this Black Month. What’s the point of Christmas shopping? Before, people with more difficulties took advantage of the sales, now we have gone to the other extreme ”, he reasons. “This fever is 100% contradictory. Responsible consumption has to be: buy what you need ”.
This consumer fever is 100% contradictory. Responsible consumption has to be: buy what you need
In the business world, the concept of solidarity is something that has been raised for a long time. For example, there is an alternative current to these dates led by different businesses that make values such as sustainability and social responsibility their letter of introduction. Brands such as Ecoalf do not join the Black Friday discounts because they are not in favor of this excessive spending, and Patagonia, a pioneer in these initiatives, donates 100% of the sales of this day to environmental protection projects. Ikea is also promoting a campaign called Green Friday to buy back its furniture in exchange for vouchers redeemable in its stores. Here Mas’s opinion is clear: “There are brands that are taking actions that may lead them to lose money. This is what the client is going to detect: that set of actions that make the responsibility of the brand false or real ”.
“This is not a criticism, but a yellow card, a wake-up call. Maybe Black Friday has to be just one day again. We have to create that awareness among all of us. We have everything we need in the cupboards, we have to reflect a little more about consumption. In my opinion we do not bet on quality, we have to take back the value of the origins ”, concludes the sales expert.
Trends in philanthropy
According to the Study of the Partner and Donor 2021 carried out by the Spanish Fundraising Association, the profile of a donor in Spain corresponds to that of a woman of about 58 years, who lives alone in a large city, with older children and a medium economic level. high. The profile of the donors of the Giving Tuesday initiative also confirms this trend: women represent 62% of the participants in the projects, and in those related to health and animals, they represent almost 75%. In addition, 54.1% of women lead directive or management teams in the non-profit sector, a trend that will be visible in Barcelona this November 30 with a round table, Women and Philanthropy, framed within the dissemination activities of the initiative in the city of Barcelona.
The key is in the social impact of donations. “There is a conscious consumer who uses that awareness in their habits; there we share that social responsibility that was previously closely related to companies, but is now being expanded a lot. The challenge for organizations is to find a way to reach the new generations ”, explains Femia, from Anesvad, who insists:“ now the donor demands more information, more transparency. You want to know the impact of your contribution. Beyond spending he wants results ”.
Women represent 62% of donors and in projects related to health and animals they reach almost 75%
Ricard Valls is CEO of Zohar Consultoría, another company that promotes Giving Tuesday in Spain, delves into the new goals of the sector. “The key concept is that you have to collaborate, not compete. A society evolves only if its members collaborate with each other. It can consist of volunteering, giving second-hand things, buying fair trade, buying organic… and adding value to our data ”.
Giving economic value to the personal data that many companies handle and being able to have the option of donating it to an entity is, in the words of Valls, an increasingly real trend. “This idea is already being raised somewhere, because it makes sense. Like if I only consume organic products or have an ethical pension fund I am entitled to a tax deduction. Or that the State compensates in the same way that it does with carbon dioxide compensation, that’s where we are going ”, insists Valls. The altruistic contributions in the purchase process, the creation of companies with a real and sustainable social purpose … The reality is that the trends in fundraising are evolving, helped by technology and big data, two digital tools that are playing a fundamental role in impacting and reaching donors.
Giving Tuesday is an example of this evolution in the non-profit sector: it was created as an open and horizontal movement, but then each organization is independent when it comes to managing their projects and actions autonomously. On the website www.givingtuesday.es you can browse the different projects and offer resources and ideas, all free of charge and with information aimed at citizens, NGOs, companies and educational centers who want to join the initiative. In 2020, Giving Tuesday in Spain made visible some 300 actions and obtained almost 500,000 euros of donations for projects related to childhood, health, social exclusion, disability, education, environment, culture and women, among others.
The future of philanthropy is uncertain, but there seems to be consensus in some quarters. Valls sums it up like this. “It is not that you give because someone has asked you to become a member, but rather that you give because you are aware of the importance of the work that the organization is doing. They have to raise awareness in society. In the end it is a cultural issue, here we donate only 20% when in the United States it is 50%! The future is that it is something that comes from the citizens themselves, it is an educational issue, of civic responsibility ”, he concludes.
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