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


Cousin Greg on HBO’s T,
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‘Succession’ appears to have lost all of its legacy to Greenpeace – and the environmental justice group is hoping to turn that fictitious coup into actual donations this Tuesday Giving.

Greenpeace USA suggested that donors “can piss off a loved one by giving a #GivingTuesday gift to @GreenpeaceUSA now!” in a tweet ahead of the annual international campaign to promote charitable giving.

The tweet was a nod to a story on “Succession,” in which Greg, a naïve who seems to stumble with every interaction with those close to him in the power-hungry Roy family, recently announced his intention to sue Greenpeace after his grandfather said he was leaving Greg’s legacy to the environmental organization.

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

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

“We’ve definitely had an increase in traffic to our social media donation pages about the HBO ‘estate’,” said Tricia Hart, director of development for Greenpeace USA. “Timing has never been more urgent for our work, and we are pleased to see Greenpeace’s continued relevance as a nemesis of corporate greed on our 50th anniversary.”

On the show, Greg’s grandfather said he had to leave his fortune to Greenpeace because Greg had aligned himself with “a monstrous business” and a “villainous shill gang” by joining the conservative media empire. des Roys. Intentionally or not, Greenpeace USA used equally strong language on the donation page linked to its tweet, claiming that “the evidence shows greedy corporations are directly responsible for plastic pollution, forest destruction and fossil fuel-based climate emergency we are witnessing around the world. . “

As with much of ‘Succession’, Greg losing his legacy to Greenpeace has roots in reality. This is an example of “philanthropic malice,” said Greg Witkowski, senior lecturer in nonprofit management at Columbia University. “Philanthropy of spite” refers to people who donate money to offend or dishonor specific people, said Witkowski, who coined the term and wrote it earlier this year in an op-ed for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. .

Examples include people who raised over $ 1 million for reproductive rights group Planned Parenthood in “honor” of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh after his death, and a Giving Tuesday appeal from Patagonia in 2019 citing a donation to environmental groups on behalf of “your recalcitrant uncle who refuses to believe in climate science.” Another case is where donors who disliked former President Donald Trump sent money to shark conservation groups after learning that Trump hated sharks.

It also manifested itself on 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 emotion than what we usually want to tie to philanthropic giving, but it’s there, ”Witkowski said.

In terms of fundraising strategy, asking donors to tap into feelings of resentment is in keeping with Greenpeace’s tradition of aggressive action, which has included confrontation with whalers at sea. not work as well for charities with less forward-thinking brands, Witkowski noted.

Donate Tuesday – it’s fantastic that it raises so much money, but it has become such a competitive fundraising period among nonprofits that it is no surprise that some nonprofits want to stand out, ”Witkowski said.

As for Greg’s legal fight against Greenpeace, it remains to be seen whether it is another Greg escaped or a Machiavellian gesture. There are still two episodes left this season.


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