Giving Tuesday: Missing the Point

Today was Giving Tuesday.


It’s a made up holiday to promote giving as we rush to the malls and internet in search of holiday deals. All in all, it is a good idea.


But old habits die hard and a lot of great organizations missed the point. My inbox was filled with pleas from charities. “Give to us.”


It’s tough for charities to think about “giving.” The mindset is: “We give all the time. Our turn.”


They didn’t even bother to justify their requests with a list of how a gift to them helps them give. They just jumped in, cyber hands reaching into our pockets (if not our hearts). Never miss an opportunity to pitch. It’s the American way.


It might have been more effective to actually lead the way in demonstrating a giving mindset and forgo the usual pitches and just humbly give.


Just two of the charities who reached my inbox took this route. The Philadelphia Art Museum opened its doors with an added “Pay what you want” admission day. They gave the art-loving community an opportunity to view their treasures without the usual hefty admission fee.


And the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, under new leadership, announced a free, day-long seminar in the near future. Great move to increase interest in theological education. Helpful to their audience. In keeping with mission.


These two not-for-profit organizations found ways to give on Giving Tuesday. I’ll watch them more closely this year.