We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now we have Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back, celebrated each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States (December 1 this year). Giving Tuesday was launched in 2012 by 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City, to celebrate and encourage giving. Now in its fourth year, Giving Tuesday is a global celebration of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. In 2014, over 27,000 nonprofits in 68 countries participated in Giving Tuesday, raising over $46 million for social causes. Beyond dollars and cents, Giving Tuesday has become a social media phenomenon: in 2014, the hashtag #GivingTuesday was used 764,000 times and trended for 11 hours on Twitter, raising awareness of social causes.
In 2014, END7 launched a Giving Tuesday student fundraising competition, netting $10,154 from 22 participating schools — enough to treat 20,000 children for seven NTDs. This year, as our student community has grown around the world, we’re setting our sights even higher, with a goal of raising $20,000 from dozens of schools worldwide. You can see the list of schools who have signed on to participate on our Giving Tuesday page, where you can choose a fundraising campaign to support on December 1.
To reach this ambitious goal, END7 students around the world will hold bake sales, email friends and family, post all over social media, and rally their classmates to support the fight against NTDs. The timing of this effort is ideal as END7 supporters reflect on all of the progress made in the fight against NTDs in 2015. In the past three months, the United Nations endorsed a goal to end the epidemic of NTDs as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (and moved forward with the inclusion of an indicator to measure progress), Mexico announced their official elimination of the NTD river blindness, and the Nobel Prize in Medicine was jointly awarded to scientists who developed drugs that have saved millions of lives from NTDs and malaria.
And while these milestones deserve to be celebrated, END7 student supporters know that we can’t rest while less than half of people needing NTD treatment are receiving it because of persistent funding gaps for NTD programs. The END7 campaign was launched as a way to give everyone a chance to contribute to the effort to end NTDs, with 100% of donations to our campaign used to support NTD treatment programs.
If you are a student, teacher or university administrator who would like to join in our Giving Tuesday effort, sign up to fundraise on December 1 with an event or online fundraising page. Be sure to check out our resources: the Giving Tuesday action kit, a short webinar with fundraising tips and tricks from student leaders, and a Facebook album with inspiring images to share or set as your profile or cover photo. To spread the word, sign up for our Thunderclap or send us an END7 #unselfie (unselfish selfie!) with a sign explaining why you support END7 —we’ll post the best ones on Facebook!
We hope to have students around the world doing their part to fill the NTD funding gap on Giving Tuesday. If that goal isn’t motivation enough, we’ll be awarding fun prizes to the school with the highest fundraising total, the school that with the highest number of donors, and the school with the most creative promotion (time to snap those #unselfies!). Sign up to participate today!