As its name implies, #GivingTuesday, a movement designed to encourage Americans to give back during the holiday season by creating a dedicated day of giving, is harnessing digital media to expand its reach and encourage as many participants as possible.
The first-ever #GivingTuesday kicks off Tuesday, November 27, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Individuals and #GivingTuesday partners are spreading the word through social networks and the #GivingTuesday community hub, which was built on SaaS company Dynamic Signal's platform and launched November 6.
The hub features a slideshow, videos, news feed and Twitter feed, as well as a points system in which share icons allow users to post content in their own social channels in exchange for points. The points recognize members for spreading the word about the campaign.
"The points are really for people's competitive nature and to quantify their good nature and their goods hearts," says Chrysula Winegar, a consultant with the United Nations Foundation, one of #GivingTuesday's featured partners. The top 5 sharers may receive small goodies and recognition in the #GivingTuesday community, she adds.
According to Dynamic Signal, the hub has made it easy for users to share content, ideas and best practices. Winegar says #GivingTuesday has about 1000 social media ambassadors who have signed up through either the community hub or the main #GivingTuesday blog.
In addition, #GivingTuesday has nearly 2,500 partners, which include large corporations/brands, nonprofits, media organizations, universities and small/medium businesses.
In order to sign up as a partner, the organization must have a specific #GivingTuesday initiative, Winegar says. That means they are either registered 501(c)3 charities or they are for-profit businesses or groups that have a project that will benefit at least one 501(c)3.
Featured #GivingTuesday partners also include the 92nd Street Y, Unilever and DoSomething.org.
Additional partners include: department store JCPenney, which will use #GivingTuesday to launch its Holiday Giving Tour, a 12-day tour across the U.S. that will carry out special acts of generosity each day; and shoe and accessory brand ALDO, which is hosting a donation-matching Twitter campaign.
Another partner, the Huffington Post, has a dedicated channel for #GivingTuesday, which features blog posts about the campaign.
#GivingTuesday has 6700 likes on Facebook and 4000 followers on Twitter. It was a trending topic on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.