Gangnum Style Giving: A #GivingTuesday Ideathon

By Digital Strategy — March 6, 2013 - 11:36 pm

Social Media Week is a worldwide event exploring the social, cultural, and economic impact of the growing social media field. Late this February, the conference came to New York and featured panels with a variety of professionals and thought-leaders from the field. The mcgarrybowen social media team had the opportunity to attend sessions and bring back learnings about tricks of the trade, industry trends, and data.

“Gangnum Style Giving: A #GivingTuesday Ideathon”

“Community was the marketing plan from the very beginning.”

Susan McPherson, Senior Vice President at Fenton, hosted a discussion and brainstorming session with the founders of #GivingTuesday, a nascent movement created to foster community around charitable acts of giving, using social media. The panel included #GivingTuesday’s creator Henry Timms of 92Y, along with Aaron Sherinian of UN Foundation and Sharon Feder of Mashable. Following the discussion, attendees broke into four groups to brainstorm ideas on how to grow #GivingTuesday’s scale and get more people involved in 2013.

What They Said:

We have Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday shopping season, but what about a day to kick off the season of giving? That’s what Henry Timms thought when he came up with the idea of #GivingTuesday in July of 2012. What ensued was collaboration between 92Y, Mashable and UN Foundation to create a real-life movement that would inspire people to be creative in how they give back to their community, and then celebrate those acts of giving through social media.

The inaugural #GivingTuesday took place on Tuesday, November 27, 2012, and was considered a success in its first year:

  • #GivingTuesday trended globally on Twitter for two days
  • The initiative partnered with 2,600 national organizations and influencers, far surpassing their goal of 100
  • Participation ranged from organizations that raised millions of dollars, to a community who joined resources to help a struggling local thrift shop from closing, and individuals who donated their time to help neighbors in need.

To promote their initiative in a short amount of time, #GivingTuesday’s organizers built a network of influencers who helped discover and share stories across social media. #GivingTuesday tapped into niche communities, such as mom bloggers, encouraging them to share the message on Twitter and Pinterest – social platforms they were already using.

What We Heard:

#GivingTuesday’s key strength is that it’s built on a community that values giving, and also finds joy in sharing through social media. The movement’s organizers utilized social media to listen to their audience and leverage their existing behavior, helping to promote #GivingTuesday’s core message.

Implementing a simple message allows the community to interpret their own meaning of #GivingTuesday and how they choose to celebrate it. And that message is, “How do you give? Talk about how you give, and why it’s important to you.”


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