Saturday, November 26, 2022

Giving Season and a Sustainable Earth

It is giving season, with Giving Tuesday coming up after the long Thanksgiving weekend. Now is the best time of the year to reach out to your Donors and make sure that they are thinking of you as they give thanks for the year and give donations into the end of the tax year.  #GivingTuesday

Black Friday is named such as a target date for companies to move from losing money for the year into profits: out of the red and into the black. Basically, if you paid all your expenses at the beginning of the year, all future sales after the break-even point would be pure profits. Thanksgiving Day, at the end of November is a wonderful target, that leaves one month of pure profits. Plus, if the last month of the year is disproportionate – like Christmas sales – that is pure gravy!

Visit to see a longer discussion about Nonprofits using the Giving Tuesday moment to solicit funds from Donors. Some of that post is repeated here before jumping into a sustainable earth discussion.  The Thanks-Shopping-and-Giving Week is an interesting week:

  1. Thanksgiving Thursday (in USA)
  2. Black Friday
  3. Small Business Saturday
  4. Sunday Football (or futbol, same name, different game)
  5. Cyber Monday
  6. Giving Tuesday
  7. Buyer’s remorse Wednesday
  8. Returns Thursday

There’s a similar concept related to Black Friday, Earth Overshot Day. Earth Overshot Day is the day (approximately) during the year when the population of the world has exhausted the resources that the earth produces in a year and we move into deficit spending (overconsumption). Until a few decades ago, the earth produced far more that humans (and other living things combined) could consume. Not so now. Earth Overshoot Day is the day of the year – figuratively – where sustainability stops, and unsustainable live/living begins for the rest of the year. Guess what day of the year Earth Overshoot Day occurs? Before or after Black Friday?

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… Wikipedia on Earth Overshoot Day.

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Earth’s “carrying capacity” has been exceeded since about 1970.

Mid-August is now Earth Overshoot Day. That is with about 1/3 of the year remaining. We need an another third of an earth to continue living as we are.

Stated differently, we are approaching the need for another planet earth to support our lifestyles and consumption patterns.

Quietly in November 2022 we blasted past 8 billion world population. Estimates are that we will max out between 9 and 11 billion world population. But, as the rest of the world consumes at the rate of the industrialized world, we need 4 to 6 worlds to support us all. It is not that the earth cannot support us all; it simply can’t support us in the same lifestyle we would like, using the same production methods.

You might find critics of the analysis on Earth Carrying Capacity and Earth Overshoot Day. But the concept holds up rather well. There’s sustainable, and there’s non-sustainable. If our 8 billion population and all businesses move toward being 100 percent sustainable, then Earth Overshoot Day will return to the black, all year, every year. And, if we like the planet we’ve got very much at all, moving to all sustainable is better much sooner, not later.

Happy Thanksgiving, Shopping & Giving Week.

Think Sustainable. Be Sustainable.
Elmer Hall (c) SBP
First Published on (modified and reprinted here with permission of Author).

Check out Hall & Hinkelman's book on Nonprofit Planning and Impactful Giving for more on fundraising and philanthropic ecosystems.

Hall, E. B. & Hinkelman, R. M. (2022). Perpetual Innovation™: Strategic planning for nonprofits and the art of impactful giving: the gift of giving, the art of caring. ISBN: ‎ 979-8842614615
Retrieved from: (Available on Kindle eBook as well.)


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