It seems as though the holiday season begins earlier and earlier every year. Before the autumn leaves begin to fall, retailers are touting this year's "must have" gifts and trying to entice us with catchy holiday music and decorations to get us in the spirit. Despite this strong push, for many, the start of the holiday season is still marked by the tradition of Thanksgiving Day -- a time when as a nation we pause, give thanks and take account of our many blessings. This year, it's truly sad to see the mad rush of Black Friday encroach on this most cherished day, as retailers take their employees away from precious family time and throw open their doors to anxious buyers on Thanksgiving evening. Really?
Just when I could be a little discouraged about where all of this is going, I'm encouraged and inspired by a counter movement. A movement to redefine the season of giving, away from the emphasis on "sales, sales, sales!" and toward the true spirit of giving to others in a more meaningful way, especially those in need. Called "Giving Tuesday," this effort is designed to create a moment and build momentum for the season of giving back, in the same way that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday kicks off the holiday shopping season. The Case Foundation is excited to join the UN Foundation, 92Y and more than 200 other organizations on Tuesday, November 27, to celebrate this special time of year and to highlight the exceptional work that so many nonprofits and social enterprises do to strengthen our communities during the holiday season and all year-long.
Giving Tuesday reflects our long-held belief at the Case Foundation that, taken together, many gifts of time and treasure (small and large) can change the world. Because we passionately believe in democratizing philanthropy, we have invested in organizations that give everyone an opportunity to experience the joy and responsibility of giving -- platforms like Network for Good, Causes and MissionFish, which make it easier for people to give whatever they can, whenever they can. It's why we created a "Good Giving", resource center on our website to help nonprofits and individuals make informed choices about how and where to give. And it's why we focus on using social media and technology for social good, because we know that for many people, social networks and mobile apps are their first gateway to learn about a specific cause or nonprofit.
Each day, as I look at my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I'm astounded at the ways that technology and social media have helped make giving back easier, more effective and something you can do anytime, anywhere -- not just when you go to your house of worship or when you are thinking about end-of-year tax receipts. So many tools have made it easier than ever to reach more people who are interested in giving back, and it's made giving -- whether making your annual holiday gift, donating to Sandy relief efforts or connecting to volunteer opportunities -- more social, mobile, local and global -- all at once.
Giving Tuesday gives us a moment to see what we can do in this new "SoLoMo" world when we combine the power of technology with the spirit of giving. That's why we're celebrating Giving Tuesday by joining with fellow founding partner Crowdrise to provide up to $25,000 in matching donations on November 27. In other words, use Crowdrise to contribute to any cause or nonprofit you support on Giving Tuesday, and the Case Foundation will match your contribution.
So, let's reclaim the spirit of season by supporting Giving Tuesday on November 27. While you're standing in long cash register lines, placing an online order or waiting for your gifts to be delivered, take a break from shopping and join this important movement. You can give a lot or a little to whatever organization or cause is close to your heart -- what matters is that you give, so we can send a message about what's truly important this holiday season, one "give" at a time.
SixDegrees.org has also joined the Case Foundation's Giving Tuesday effort, and will provide $10,000 in matching for any donations given on Crowdrise that day.
This blog is part of our #GivingTuesday series, produced by the Huffington Post and the teams at InterAction, 92nd Street Y, United Nations Foundation, and others. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday -- which takes place for the first time on Tuesday, November 27 -- is a movement intended to open the holiday season on a philanthropic note. Go to www.givingtuesday.org to learn more and get involved.