Greenpeace plays on ‘Succession’ story for Giving Tuesday — encouraging donors to give out of spite

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Cousin Greg on HBO’s T,
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The “succession” appears to have lost its entire legacy to Greenpeace — and the environmental justice group hopes to deliver that fictional blow to real-world charities this Tuesday.

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Greenpeace USA suggested that donors “can anger a relative by giving @GreenpeaceUSA a #GivingTuesday gift right now!” In a tweet ahead of the annual international campaign to promote charitable donations.

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The tweet was an allusion to a story line on “succession,” in which Greg, a naive who seems to be barking through every conversation with his relatives in the power-hungry Roy family, recently called for suing Greenpeace. Announced his intention when his grandfather announced. Greg’s legacy was leaving the environmental organization.

The mention of Greenpeace on the show has sparked interest in people leaving money to the group voluntarily, and Greenpeace UK has also published a guide for those who want to follow in Greg’s grandfather’s footsteps, The Guardian reported,

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Visibility has also increased online visits to Greenpeace USA’s donation page, a spokesperson said.

“There’s definitely been an increase in traffic from social media to our donation pages about HBO’s ‘succession’,” said Tricia Hart, chief development officer for Greenpeace USA. “Time has never been more urgent for our work, and we are delighted to see the continued relevance of Greenpeace as a nemesis of corporate greed during its 50th anniversary.”

On the show, Greg’s grandfather stated that he had to leave his fortune to Greenpeace because Greg had allied himself with “a monstrous endeavor” and “a gang of rogue shills” by associating with Roy’s conservative media empire. Intentional or not, Greenpeace USA used similar harsh language on the donation page attached to its tweet, saying that “evidence suggests that greedy corporations are directly responsible for the plastic pollution, forest destruction and fossil-fueled climate emergency that We’re looking around the world.”

As is the case with most “Succession”, Greg is rooted in the reality of losing his legacy to Greenpeace. This is an example of “altruism notwithstanding,” said Greg Witkowski, a senior lecturer in nonprofit management at Columbia University. Witkowski, who coined the term and wrote about it earlier this year, refers to people donating money as a way to offend or humiliate specific people “in spite of altruism.” an op-ed For the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Examples include those raising more than $1 million for Planned Parenthood, a reproductive-rights group in honor of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after his death, and a 2019 appeal by Patagonia Tuesday that included “your Donations to environmental groups have been mentioned in the name of Holdout uncle who refuses to believe in climate science.” Another example was when donors who disliked former President Donald Trump sent money to shark conservation groups, after learning that Trump hates sharks.

It also showed up on Giving Tuesday, when comedian Mike Birbiglia said he would donate to a food bank in honor of someone who suggested food insecurity was a “communist buzzword.”

“People have long recognized that people give for emotional reasons. It’s just a different sentiment that we usually associate with altruistic giving, but it’s there,” Witkowski said.

In terms of fundraising strategy, asking donors to tap into hateful sentiment is in line with Greenpeace’s tradition of aggressive action, which involves confronting whaling ships at sea. Witkowski notes that spite-based appeals may not work for charities with less edgy brands.

“Giving Tuesday — it’s fantastic that it raises so much money, but it’s become such a time of competitive fundraising among nonprofits that it’s not surprising that some nonprofits want to stand out,” Witkowski said.

As far as Greg’s legal battle against Greenpeace is concerned, it remains to be seen whether this is another blunder from Greg or a move by Machiavellian. There are still two more episodes in this season.

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