Though Canada is far from immune to the forces of intolerance, we generally still self-identify as generous, socially conscious citizens. In this moment of unease and unrest, it's heartening that we see ourselves as the world's helpful, conscientious neighbor. Well Canada, this week we have the chance to put our money where our identity is.
On November 29th, I invite you to join me in a global initiative that encourages everyone to donate to a campaign for which they care about: Giving Tuesday. While you may be tired from taking advantage of the many great deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I am confident that you won't be too fatigued to step up and make a difference with your donation.
Unfortunately, it remains part of Canada's culture of philanthropy to think charities should spend all their money directly on programs and that "administrative" spending is wrong and should be discouraged. There's a double standard, with different expectations of businesses than of charities when it comes to investing internally.
Like Black Friday, Giving Tuesday originated in the U.S. but it has a completely different aim. Instead of a day of consumerism, it's a day of charity. It's a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering that encourages all of us to join together with charities, companies and other individuals to rally around our favourite causes. Not a bad idea huh?
While "Giving Tuesday" hasn't fully migrated north to Canada, the idea behind it is appealing. With all the ads and other reminders to shop and give at this time of year, I think it's worth stepping back for a moment to consider how and why we give and also the far-reaching results certain gifts can generate.