Several people around the world have, time and again, come together on the idea of giving back to society. It is impossible to attribute ownership to anyone for these, or likewise for #DaanUtsav!
Between November 2008 and February 2009, several individuals and NGO leaders got together and decided to launch an ‘India Giving Week’. Specific events were identified. Riverside School (in Gujarat) came up with a ‘Design for Change’ contest. Goonj, an NGO based in Delhi, launched its ‘Vastrasamman Campaign’. Toofles, a cause agnostic fundraising platform, organized a ‘Style for Smiles CEO Ramp Walk’. In Chennai, a Battle of the Buffet was run. These were just some of the events; there were many more.
The advertising agency, EuroRSCG India created the ‘Joy of Giving Week’ brand identity in March 2009. Between 2009 and 2013, as the festival grew in scale and reached all socio-economic strata and geographies of India, the need for a name that was easily understood nationally became apparent. In February 2014, volunteers renamed the festival ‘DaanUtsav’ based on feedback received from across the country.
No one owns #DaanUtsav. Like Diwali or Dussera, anyone around the world can celebrate #DaanUtsav in his/ her own way! However, in its formative years, to give it shape, a group of core volunteers managed the #DaanUtsav campaign, defined guidelines for participation, and evangelized the effort. But you are the most important part of turning this festival into a bigger, widespread reality.
This toolkit has been put together to provide you with all of the resources you need to get started, including: how to celebrate, a sample outreach email, some FAQs, and contact details of volunteers in your city to help discuss more ideas for #DaanUtsav.
There are several ways in which you can celebrate #DaanUtsav. Here are a few:
You Can Volunteer
Volunteering is always a rewarding experience. You can volunteer at an NGO or organize a larger team volunteering event with your friends, staff, and neighbors. For example, you could do a ‘Sewa Sandwich’ event with five of your friends. All you need to do is buy bread, butter, cucumbers, tomatoes, and some sandwich masala or salt and pepper. Then get together and make sandwiches with your group (this will also strengthen your team-building skills). Next, pack and distribute these sandwiches to the homeless in your area. It is fun to strike conversations with the people you give food to as well.
You can also choose to donate pro bono hours to help charities in need of your skills. Or perhaps organize a donation drive at your workplace, or the area where you stay, for people to donate goods, clothing, and other items for people in need. The bottom line is: Help someone, anyone in need.
You Can Create Giving Events
If you think you have people skills or would love to lead a pack of givers, then you can organize an event at your city, workplace, school, college, housing apartment, social or new media platform – choose any place/platform you like. Events could range from organizing a charity drive to a marathon in your city and from choreographing a flash mob to getting meals sponsored for the homeless on all seven days of the festival. Refer to our website and 'Ideas and Events Toolkit' to learn more.
You Can Donate or Raise funds
You can donate or you can organize a fundraiser for a non-profit by leveraging #DaanUtsav to expand your donor base and raise more funds across the country. For instance, one giver cooked a sumptuous Thai meal and invited all his friends over for a pay-for-your dinner evening at his house. The funds raised were donated to a charity he supported.
Alternatively, you could also partner with a donor or sponsor to host a matching grant challenge for #DaanUtsav. If you are a corporate, you could create a campaign in which your employees donate an amount of their choice. At the end of the week, you contribute and match the same amount towards a cause that you support.
You Can Get Social
You can celebrate in several ways using #DaanUtsav's social media platforms:
Facebook (facebook.com/daanutsav), Twitter (@daanutsav), and Instagram (@daanutsav).
Listed below are a few ideas:
1. Post your Happy Dot Selfie: Once you perform an act of giving during the week, click a selfie with the #DaanUtsav happy dot (see the smiley in the logo) and share it online. You can either draw the Happy Dot yourself or print it and stick it on your finger, wrist, or face.
2. Post photos and videos of giving: Document your act of giving and share it across social media platforms. Additionally, you can also upload it on YouTube.
3. Tag at least 5 people after you perform an act of giving: To create a chain of givers using your social network, tag 5 or more of your friends to motivate them to celebrate #DaanUtsav.
4. Share stories of giving: This can be through blog posts, and status updates on social media in which you recount the experience and act of giving through narrative and/ or images.
5. Use the #DaanUtsav badge on your FB profile: Will update once I understand how this is done.
Wherever you post, whatever you post, don't forget to include the hashtag #daanutsav. For more information, refer to the #DaanUtsav Social Media Toolkit on our website.
You Can Keep Giving
#DaanUtsav, and the joy that can be experienced in giving, is so much more than the one week in October. You can pledge to do more throughout the year and experience more joy. You can give a certain amount every month to a charity of your choice, pledge to volunteer every few months, or launch a unique campaign to give back to society after . Just remember, you can keep giving and celebrating life in so many unique ways.
When is #DaanUtsav? #DaanUtsav is celebrated annually from .
Who can participate in #DaanUtsav? Everyone! #DaanUtsav is an initiative to celebrate giving, and we encourage everyone to be involved.
Why should my organization or I celebrate #DaanUtsav? #DaanUtsav is an initiative to encourage giving and build ideals of compassion and generosity in everyone. As an organization, celebrating #DaanUtsav helps build a solid support for your philanthropic activities. For an individual, it increases self-confidence and provides a sense of purpose.
How does one participate? Everyone can celebrate #DaanUtsav the way they want, keeping in mind the larger cause of giving to the less privileged. Individuals do small acts of giving across the country. Corporates organize giving activities with their employees and customers. NGOs arrange awareness or fundraising events whilst housing societies visit or invite orphanages, elderly homes or throw a party for their help. Schools and colleges meanwhile encourage students to volunteer. Many individuals, including celebrities, also get involved in their own unique ways.
Who owns or organizes #DaanUtsav? #DaanUtsav is a festival and not an NGO or organization. It belongs to the people, just like Diwali, Christmas, Eid, World Elderly Day, or Mother's Day. A large number of socially conscious citizens volunteer their time across the country to encourage more and more people to celebrate this festival of giving.
Q. Who can one support? Several charitable organizations participate in the week and you could support any of them. On the other hand, you could simply support any organization or deserving individuals you know personally. There are no restrictions. #DaanUtsav volunteers can assist you with finding credible organizations, so that you can be sure that your contribution doesn't get misused.
Why only a week and not throughout the year? Festivals are celebrated as a way of rededicating ourselves to something that is equally important all through the year. While Diwali is celebrated for a day, it reminds us of the triumph of good over evil the whole time. Occasions like World Environment Day, likewise, build focus on important issues that need attention.
Secondly, celebrating a day or a week allows for collective participation that is not always possible right through the year.
What has #DaanUtsav achieved so far? Every year, several million Indians now celebrate #DaanUtsav across more than 200 towns, villages and cities. They have organized over a thousand events and contributed tens of crores of rupees in cash and kind, and countless volunteer hours.
Where do I get more information if I want? Visit www.daanutsav.org and watch videos at www.youtube.com/
How do I get in touch with someone to discuss more ideas for #DaanUtsav? You can reach out to any #DaanUtsav volunteer across India, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ideas on how to celebrate #DaanUtsav in your area, you can write to:
You can also find #DaanUtsav here:
Website | www.daanutsav.org
Facebook | facebook.com/daanutsav
Twitter | @daanutsav
Instagram | @daanutsav
Picasa | picasaweb.google.com/
YouTube | www.youtube.com/
#DaanUtsav (earlier called the Joy of Giving Week) is India's ‘festival of giving’. Launched in 2009, the festival is celebrated every year – commencing on Gandhi Jayanti – from .
From auto rickshaw drivers to CEOs, school children to celebrities, homemakers to opinion leaders and media personnel, millions of people from all walks of life come together during this week to give their time, money, resources, or skills back to society. They do this by creating or participating in events of their choice.
A giving event could be as simple as a family taking out their maid's children for an ice-cream party, or as large as a ‘Gift Compassion’. The latter is an event that has over 10,000 school children every year across India making and exchanging gifts with their peers from different socio-economic backgrounds.
In 2015, millions of people participated in more than 1,100 events across 110 cities all over the country, by raising several tens of crores in money and resources donated, and giving countless volunteer hours.