Current e-Journal


eJournal Header

November 28, 2023

GivingTuesday GiftBox Close

This is WAY better than Giving Tuesday

In this week’s Systems Change Newsletter…

  • Catalytic Thinking Exercise: Giving Tuesday and Collective Enoughness
  • Resources to Further Your Practice

Catalytic Thinking Exercise:
Giving Tuesday and Collective Enoughness

It’s time for our annual post about Giving Tuesday! And as we do every year, we want to be clear: We are NOT asking you to donate. Just the opposite.

This is about what we can all do instead, that will reflect the equitable, humane, healthy world we want to see. As Hildy has talked about for years, Giving Tuesday has sadly become the opposite of that. (You can see more about her reasoning here.)

The problem with Giving Tuesday isn’t its intent. Thinking of others rather than being sucked into the commercialism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a noble intention indeed. The problem is the reality of Giving Tuesday - just another day of competition for scarce eyeballs (and of course, scarce dollars).

We cannot create social and economic justice if we are using the very systems that cause harm in our world, perpetuating scarcity-driven themes in our own work.

In the words of teacher and activist Audrey Lorde, “The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house.”

And while it would seem like the antidote to scarcity is more money, how many organizations do you know who, no matter how much they raise, it is never enough?

The real antidote to scarcity is found in each other - the spirit of Collective Enoughness, that together, we have everything we need.

This Giving Tuesday, let’s all commit to more sharing, and less scarcity.

Try this:
Imagine modeling what a truly engaged, sharing, cooperative community could look like, simply in the way you resource your work. Imagine living the reality of Collective Enoughness in everything you do.

Here are a few simple things to try:

Share your knowledge with other organizations
When we see others who care about our issues as “competition,” we hoard knowledge. Because none of us create community change on our own, sharing knowledge could be one big first step toward linking arms together as allies in that quest.

Imagine Giving Tuesday as a Knowledge and Idea Summit in your community, bringing together everyone who cares about your issue, simply to share what you have learned and what you are thinking about trying. Imagine what you could all accomplish together after that!

Think about what else you can share
Every organization we have ever encountered has at least something they can share with other organizations and with their community members.

    • A van that sits idle until kids are out of school in the afternoon
    • Computers that sit idle after folks leave the senior center
    • An empty office or garage, or space in your warehouse
    • A volunteer coordinator (and volunteers!)

We have seen ALL these things shared, and then some.

Imagine Giving Tuesday as a day to inventory all your assets – your stuff, your people, your knowledge and experience – and to identify at least one thing you can share. Giving Tuesday could then become the day your local community foundation or other intermediary sends out a list of all the “sharing assets” that are available to help the community!

Have a BYOS sharing party (bring your own stuff!)
In the spirit of Collective Enoughness, gather your list of sharable assets. Invite others to do the same, and next Giving Tuesday, have a swap meet! This is another way your local community foundation, United Way, or nonprofit resource center can support all the organizations in the community. Offer snacks and drinks (it is holiday time, after all!), and next Giving Tuesday, let the sharing begin!

The ripples of sharing via Collective Enoughness could extend far beyond dollars. It could begin to end scarcity thinking in communities. All that sharing energy could light the way towards being the generous, open, engaged communities we want to see.

That is why Creating the Future is not participating in Giving Tuesday this year, and why we never have. It is why we take the opportunity every year to encourage you to GIVE on Giving Tuesday – to your community and to each other.

And it is why Collective Enoughness is such a huge part of the Catalytic Thinking framework. Because together, we really do have everything we need.

Resources to Further Your Practice:

  • READ: Hildy’s article on Giving Tuesday provides more background about the harm we do when we compete for money. Read it here…
  • LEARN: Our click-and-play class on Collective Enoughness always gets people’s creative juices flowing – a strength-based approach to finding resources and building truly sustainable programs. See that here…
  • READ: We hope these examples of Collective Enoughness in action inspire you to see what you have to share! Read it here…

Help Keep Our Programs Freely Available
Creating the Future’s eJournal is free. And there are no financial barriers to our classes – tuition is whatever folks can afford. Because we never want money to stand in the way of people learning.

If you value our content and our approach, please donate here – and please consider becoming a monthly supporter of our work.

eJournal Archives:
If you’re new to our eJournal, or just want to remind yourself of past practice exercises we’ve shared, check out our eJournal archives here.

Creating the Future's Mission
Teach people how to change the systems they find themselves in,
to create a future different from our past -
all by changing the questions they ask.

to get this e-Journal
Creating the Future is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization in the U.S.A