Every year, as the holidays approach, we are inundated with messages about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And for good reason — these are two of the busiest shopping days of the year.
According to NBC News, Black Friday raked in $8.9 billion in 2021, while Cyber Monday hit $10.7 billion.
But how did the season of giving and goodwill turn into the season of buying and materialism? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and how they came to be the dominant forces in holiday shopping.
We’ll also shine a light on a new trend, one that shifts our gaze from consumerism to altruism. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that encourages us to reimagine a world built upon shared humanity and radical generosity.
Simple in practice, Giving Tuesday encourages us to act with kindness, whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help.
So let’s dive in and explore these holiday traditions together and see if perhaps we can encourage some of you to swap your Black Friday and Cyber Monday Traditions for Giving Tuesday this year.
The History of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday got its start in Philadelphia in the 1950s. The name “Black Friday” was coined by police officers in the city who had to deal with the massive crowds and traffic that descended on the city for the annual Army-Navy football game. The massive influx of people caused problems for local businesses, who complained that the crowds were disruptive and dangerous.
The term “Black Friday” didn’t catch on nationally until 1975, when it was used by Factory Management and Maintenance magazine in an article about workers calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving so they could have a long weekend.
From there, it was embraced by retailers as a way to describe the busiest shopping day of the year. Retailers capitalized on the name by running promotions and sales, which drew even more shoppers to stores on Black Friday.
Cyber Monday was created in 2005 by Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation. The term was coined as a way to encourage people to shop online for holiday gifts. The idea was that people would shop at work on Monday, when they had internet access, instead of going to stores on Black Friday. And it worked! In 2018, Americans spent a record $7.9 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the biggest online shopping day in history and spending has only gone up since.
Giving Tuesday – The New Black Friday?
For years, these Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been the busiest of the year for retailers, with consumers flocking to stores and websites in search of the best deals on holiday gifts. But this year, there’s a new kid on the block vying for attention – Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday is a relatively new concept, having only been around since 2012 and this year it’ll be celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In its short history, it has already become a major force in the world of philanthropy, raising billions of dollars for charitable causes around the world.
And with more and more consumers becoming aware of and concerned about social and environmental issues, it’s no surprise that Giving Tuesday is starting to give Black Friday and Cyber Monday a run for their money.
So, what is Giving Tuesday all about? And could it really be the new Black Friday? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving back, which takes place each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the US). It was created as a way to encourage people to do good deeds and donate to charities during the holiday season, as opposed to simply spending on themselves. And it appears to be working – since its inception, Giving Tuesday has raised billions of dollars for good causes around the world.
For example, GivingTuesday revenue in the United States reached record highs in 2021. In just 24 hours, GivingTuesday 2021 shattered previous revenue records. Despite an ongoing pandemic, donors gave almost $3 billion last year.
How does it work?
Organizations register as official participants on the Giving Tuesday website, which provides them with resources and support in promoting their campaigns. Schools, businesses, religious groups, nonprofits, and individuals are all encouraged to take part. And with millions of people taking part each year, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved.
Why is it gaining popularity?
Giving Tuesday is gaining popularity for a number of reasons. Firstly, social media has played a huge role in its success by providing a platform for organizations to promote their campaigns and engage potential donors.
Secondly, more and more people are becoming aware of and concerned about social and environmental issues, and they’re looking for ways to use their spending power to make a difference. Lastly, as society becomes increasingly digitized, people are looking for ways to connect with others and make a difference in the real world – something that Giving Tuesday provides in spades.
Giving Tuesday – Footage Foundation
In light of giving Tuesday, we would like to highlight the contributions of one of our employees here at Craft & Root, Lillian Parry. Lillian is the Art Director for Craft and Root and has been with us for 4.5 years. She’s a talented graphic designer, based in NYC and a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for more than six decades.
Lillian has generously given her time as a graphic designer and consultant to the NYC-based non-profit Footage Foundation, an organization that provides an online community and connection for young women on the frontlines of gender inequality with a particular focus on forced displacement and gender-based violence.
Lillian’s involvement began seven years ago in 2015 when she worked on their Girl-Talk-Girl project which is now the largest digital storytelling platform connecting young women and focusing on gender-based violence globally.
Lillian’s work as a designer helps to communicate Footage’s powerful mission to a global audience to increase engagement, awareness, and involvement.
To illustrate the work that Footage is doing, here’s a video interview of the co-founder & Executive Director, Dr. Kristen Ali Eglinton speaking to BBC World News Live anchor, Lucy Hockings about the work of the Footage Foundation with women in Ukraine.
With 14 million people being displaced by the war in Ukraine, many of whom are women and children, Footage is trying to ensure that women get the right support that they need.
This is exemplary of the kinds of projects the Footage Foundation participates in around the world.
Show Your Support
This year, it is an honor for us to highlight Lillian’s philanthropic contributions. For this #givingtuesday, we want to encourage you to give to the Footage Foundation to help provide critical resources to women and girls who have been displaced and who are threatened with gender-based violence.