Black Friday Leads to #GivingTuesday
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, giving by individuals makes up most of the contributions received by nonprofit organizations. “Giving USA 2015” estimated that individual giving amounted to $258.51 billion in 2014. This accounted for 72 percent of all contributions received in 2014. Based upon “Giving USA 2016” figures, individual giving grew to $281.86 billion. The last few months of the year make up what is commonly called the “giving season” for the nonprofit community.
As the holidays near, people may feel encouraged to give more generously than during the rest of the year. A 2012 Guidestar survey yielded the conclusion that over one half of the organizations surveyed said they received most of their contributions between October and December. That said, does the holiday feeling of giving really kick off after Black Friday?
Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Almost all stores come out with doorbuster sales with the early bird special to attract consumers to their shop. In the last few years, we have witnessed a trend towards bringing Black Friday Sales online before Black Friday. This concept is named black because it relates to businesses that receive their highest profits (in the black concept) on this day.
The term Black Friday is rooted in Philadelphia in the 1950s. The Black Friday name itself didn’t become famous until 1966, according to The Balance. Historically, shoppers did half of their shopping on Black Friday. The holiday season consists of November and December, according to the National Retail Federation. In 2013, combined online and store sales for the entire Black Friday weekend were estimated at $57.4 million.
Fortune’s article, “5 Things Retailers and Shoppers Should Expect from Black Friday Weekend” points out that with respect to the Black Friday Weekend in 2016:
- More shoppers will hit stores and the web than last year.
- More shoppers will go online than to stores.
- Aggressive fighting online (but Amazon will win).
- Thanksgiving emerges as a peer to Black Friday.
- More Black Friday discounts on toys and TV’s, fewer on clothes.
Black Friday weekend leads to Cyber Monday. The term “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman and made its debut on Nov. 28, 2005. In 2015, Cyber Monday online sales grew to a record $2.98 billion, compared to $2.65 billion in 2014. However, the average order value was $128, down slightly from 2014’s $160.
In 2016, according to Adobe Digital Insights, Cyber Monday hit a new record with $3.45 billion, up 12.1 percent from a year earlier. The Forbes article titled “2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Predictions” states that consumer spending over Black Friday weekend is forecast to grow by 47 percent from the same period in 2016. Cyber Monday has become even bigger than Black Friday in terms of online sales.
Does the Black Friday weekend translate into greater growth for #GivingTuesday, which is the day after Cyber Monday? The idea of #GivingTuesday started at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan in 2012, according to CBS News. Henry Timms at the Y declared that it was always Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #GivingTuesday. He wanted people to focus on giving after a weekend shopping spree.
GivingTuesday.org notes that #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. It is a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year. It provides a platform that encourages donations of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations to become partners to encourage kindness. In a typical year more than 1.64 million gifts have led to $177 million raised in 98 countries.
Charity Navigator encouraged giving through the #GivingTuesday movement in 2016. For example, by promoting the concept of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and #Giving Tuesday, collectively, this movement encourages people and organizations everywhere to come together with one common purpose—to help others and to incentivize ways to give more, give smarter and celebrate the great American spirit of generosity through charitable contributions and volunteerism. Everyone is encouraged to give over the entire year, not just one designated day.
Personally, I want everyone to give not only through the holidays, but over the entire year in some form that is meaningful and realistic to their situation. Everyone can give time and talent. Not everyone can give treasure, but they know of others with greater means to give treasure. I sincerely hope this year that Black Friday and Cyber Monday lead to a very successful #GivingTuesday. I wish the term #GivingTuesday was changed to “Giving Every Day.” Join the movement as leaders in philanthropy and encourage the giving spirit whenever and wherever it exists. Does anyone really need to purchase another item for themselves? Give that item or resources to someone in real need. That is what the holiday spirit should be all about.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.