This holiday season has featured much dialog about what it means to give back. With the Zuckerberg Chans leading the charge (or, apparently not, according to some critiques), it seems that America is re-examining what it means to be charitable and where our giving can do the most good, whatever we deem that to mean.
We took a brief break from looking at content monetization and all the best of affiliate marketing to consider a New York Times Op-Ed on giving back that was published in early December. While our customers and their communities are far ranging authorities on everything from the best video games to the most beautiful new living room furniture to backyard chicken coops, the Times piece asked us all to step back and consider not just giving our spare change to a bell-ringing Salvation Army solider, but why there is still a need for such things. Written by Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, “Giving Back is Not Enough” struck a cord in its insistent tone: we must seek to truly change the way we think of philanthropy and the world’s most pressing causes.
As Walker notes, ‘ “giving back” is necessary, but not sufficient. We should seek to bring about lasting, systemic change, even if that change might adversely affect us. We must bend each act of generosity toward justice.”
Walker’s ask is monumental, but it doesn’t mean that everyone cannot do something. Movements like #GivingTuesday, reminders from large charities that the holidays are an important time to give, and corporations (including VigLink!) make a big giving back push in November and December each year, but as we leave Holiday 2015 behind, its important to remind your communities that giving can be done year round and in even the smallest ways. Heading into 2016 content planning, perhaps considering adding a quarterly “For Good” feature or something else to change things up for your readers could be beneficial to you and the causes for which you want your brand to stand. The trickle down of Walker’s message is clear: problems loom large, but attack them however you possibly can while also thinking deeply about why these needs exist in the first place.
As we step off our small soapbox, we hope 2016 will be a year of giving back however you can!