#GivingTuesday Yet to Fully Reach Australian Shores
27 November 2018 at 5:05 pm
Giving Tuesday has turned into one of the largest global giving days of the year, but Australian charities say they aren’t seeing the benefits just yet.
The day of giving launched in 2012 in America, encouraging people to give back to charities on 27 November, following several days of some of the biggest instore and online sales of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Since then, the day has spread on a global level, and each year, not for profits host fundraisers and events, using the branding and social media hashtag created by the movement.
While this year alone, around $300 million has been raised by the movement globally, Australian charity leaders like Micah Scott, CEO of Minus 18, told Pro Bono News while the day had a lot more visibility, it had not helped Minus 18.
“Our experience as an organisation is while visibility has increased it does seem to be quite contained to an American audience,” Scott said.
He said one of the reasons the day wasn’t effective for charities trying to fundraise was a lack of awareness about what it was in the wider Australian population.
“I think it’s highly visible within the not-for-profit sector but I think it’s still got a little bit to go before it catches on properly for the everyday Australian,” he said.
Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said he didn’t know if it was much of a giving day in Australia, but after seeing the hashtag #GivingTuesday on Twitter, he decided to jump on board.
“It will be interesting to see if we have a spike in donations today, I couldn’t say at the moment,” Karapanagiotidis told Pro Bono News.
Karapanagiotidis said he didn’t believe Australia lacked a culture of giving and donating to charities.
“I don’t think there is less of a culture here but rather we have not created an iconic equivalent day,” he said.
“I can see the value in us taking this up and making it a tradition as a community sector.”
Oxfam Australia told Pro Bono News it decided to take part for the first time in 2018 after seeing how successful the day was for the American arm of the charity.
“This is the first year Oxfam Australia has taken part in Giving Tuesday activities and we’re really excited to join the movement,” Oxfam Australia appeals manager Agatha Morris said.
Morris said she liked the fact Giving Tuesday was close to the festive season, and made people stop and think about those less fortunate, and while it was linked to the American tradition of Thanksgiving, that didn’t mean it wouldn’t take off in Australia too.
“Giving Tuesday also goes hand in hand with the more consumerist Black Friday, which is growing exponentially in many global markets, not just the American one, given the nature of online retail,” she said.
“It’s a way to give charitably after this more consumerist-driven retail movement. It also ties in with our own festive season, when Australians are in the spirit of giving, so I think Australian charities can benefit a lot from having Giving Tuesday on its current date.”
Scott said one way to make the day more effective for charities was by making it clear to donors where their money would be going, keeping up with new giving trends and making it easier for people to donate.
“The easier it is to make a donation and the easier it is to pay, and to see the tangible benefit of the donation, the more likely someone is to click through and make that donation.
“More and more people in the community want to see the benefit of that donation or they want to be getting something in return, like you would with a social enterprise,” Scott said.