I hate to even mention this, but since I’ve written a few articles about it and I sort of never shut up, there has been A LOT I haven’t liked about #GivingTuesday.
I don’t mean to be the cranky Jewish “Scrooge” of philanthropy, (Scrooge-stein?), but for me, unless #GivingTuesday is implemented in a uniquely creative manner that sets an organization apart, most nonprofits appear like they’re standing in line, waiting for a #GivingTuesday number at a busy deli, I kind of can’t stand it.
I don’t like crowds, but I love a good deli.
The idea of #GivingTuesday is nice – A movement dedicated to global philanthropy on one day per year. It’s the “one day per year” part that has me all, “Get off my lawn!”–ish. While it’s true that most of my life is dedicated to philanthropy, I believe the practice of philanthropy has to be, well, practiced! If we just do one thing, one time per year, how does it become a practice?
I have also noticed in the five #GivingTuesdays I’ve participated in, an extraordinary amount of resources are utilized without a “Tuesdayriffic” return on investment.
So, I am kvetching about #GivingTuesday. I irritate myself with my complaints. Let me tell you five key things that are swirling in my brain:
- This year, my beloved employer, ORT America is participating in #GivingTuesday.
- I am fundraising/crowdfunding for #GivingTuesday this year, because even though I’m a big pain-in-the-ass kvetcher about #GivingTuesday, I believe in the power of collaboration and move forward with my colleagues and lay leaders.
- “Oy” and “BAH HUMBUG!”
- Just kidding. Okay… kind of kidding.
- This year, I’ve discovered what actually resonates with me most about #GivingTuesday and where the windows of opportunity are open…
#GivingTuesday can be a phenomenal opportunity to pump up the volume on leadership development. This year, some of my greatest moments with ORT leadership have been working with them on this “Let Go and Lego®” #GivingTuesday, crowdfunding campaign. Initially, many of the leaders I worked with, didn’t buy into the concept, let alone want to promote it on their personal social media streams.
For each conversation and each “aha!” moment I had the pleasure of navigating and witnessing with lay leadership, #GivingTuesday became totally worth it and it isn’t even here yet. I experienced branding clarification, strategic and tactical thinking and most important of all, deeper relationship building.
I also educated myself on the importance of LEGOS in education. Like any case for support and really, anything I do, I have to find what I love about it and what resonates with me.
The truth is, I suck at building LEGOS. I have issues with spacial relations, but I do wonder if I’d have worked with LEGO kits and robotics in my education as a young child, would I have fared better in the spacial relations department? I’m sure most drivers in my geographical area, who have to contend with me parallel parking within 100 feet of their vehicles, would like to give to this campaign immediately. (But only if it means I’ll stay away from their vehicles.)
The truth is, even though I have historically loathed #GivingTuesday, perhaps my philanthropic spacial relations were off. I am teachable and reasonable, so I’m willing to open up enough about #GivingTuesday to utilize ORT’s resources well.
So, ORT students aren’t the only ones who benefit from our “Let Go and LEGO” campaign. I too, find myself letting go of ideas I was resolute in believing as I open up space in my brain and heart for growth.
See? I’ve already improved on my spacial relations and love my work even more than I ever thought possible.
Happy Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for you.
To DONATE to my fundraising page despite my previous kvetching, go to LET GO AND LEGO.
Not only do ORT and ORT students throughout the world appreciate it, but I am deeply grateful for all support. Also, if you donate BEFORE #GivingTuesday, I promise not to try and parallel park near your vehicle.
Okay, I’ll shut up now.
No I won’t. Please donate.
Okay. Now, I’m done.