Generosity Day is an effort to rebrand Valentine’s Day – and make it about love, connection, and well generosity.
We’re rebooting Valentine’s Day as Generosity Day: one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying “Yes.” Let’s make the day about love, action and human connection – because we can do better than smarmy greeting cards, overpriced roses, and stressed-out couples trying to create romantic meals on the fly.
You can join Generosity Day over at their Causes page and invite your friends.
Last year around Valentine’s Day there was a Social Media Week panel called Nonprofits Using Social Media to Close Doors for Good with Katya Andresen of Network for Good, Sasha Dichter of Acumen Fund, and Ellen McGirt, a writer at Fast Company who covered the panel discussion. The panel was introduced Scott Case of Malaria No More who lead a brainstorm of ideas and solutions for the social entrepreneurs and non-profiters in the audience.
After the panel, Sasha and Katya talked about his Generosity Experiment,” in which he said yes to everyone who asked him for help for an entire month. Based on that conversation, Sasha was inspired to take back Valentine’s Day from the chocolate candy and roses – and fuel a different sort of love. Sasha launched Generosity Day in 2011, using his network and social media platforms in partnership with Networked for Good. And so it spread as Sasha reflects on his blog – from nonprofit marketing consults like Zan McColloch-Lussier offering free consults to much more.
Now, it’s back again this year – perhaps testing and experimenting with how to make generosity scale even further based on lessons learned from last year. Says Katya Andresen,Chief Strategy Officer, Networked for Good, “Last year, we had a loosely organized group of individuals promoting the day in their own ways. This year, we’re hoping for the same, but we also have partners with existing communities helping to anchor the effort. I expect that to create a movement, you need both. You want a thousand flowers to bloom, but it’s also a good idea to cultivate a garden or two.”
This year, individuals and organizations worldwide are jumping-in to spread the word. Friends at organizations like charity: water, Pencils of Promise, and Facebook Causes are sharing the idea with their communities, and Acumen Fund has pledged to get involved by encouraging its community to participate too. There is also a t-shirt from the good folks at Selfless Ts – an amazing site. They pair up with a nonprofit, design a t-shirt, and for every t-shirt sold a percentages is donated back to the charity. Check out the fundraising page – in this case – the proceeds are going to support Acumen Fund. (Maybe we can even make a ROI argument for generosity!)
The Point of Pilots: Measure, Learn, Reiterate
What struck me is that it illustrates a best practice in social media (or innovating) — pilot, measure, learn, and reiterate. The first campaign gave them some learnings that most likely shaped how they designed this campaign that may lead to even more dramatic results. If your organization is going to be successful in social media integration and get results, you have to incorporate this process of learning through pilots. I found this wonderful infographic that summarizes some principles about piloting, although the accompanying blog post is in German and doesn’t translate too well with automated translators!
How does your organization approach piloting and learning from pilots?