Charitable giving and volunteering is great to be involved in year-round. However, some events draw more attention to the impact of giving your time and money than others. Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, often stylized as #GivingTuesday) is a global day of charity, where everyone is encouraged to give to the cause of their choice. Today, I want to look at the effects of Giving Tuesday throughout the years, and look forward to what next year could turn into.
Giving Tuesday was created by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in 2012. The purpose was to help people reflect on the needs of others, after the huge consumer holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two holidays are notorious for causing chaos and draining many people’s wallets, but there are many people who don’t have the ability to partake. Giving Tuesday is meant to shine a light on this problem.
Giving Tuesday, in its first year, was quickly backed by many tech companies (Mashable, Microsoft, and Skype, for example), as well as quite a few major news outlets. This led to a 53% increase of online charitable giving compared to the year prior. The next year, after this new holiday had been solidified, charitable giving grew 90% compared to 2012. Clearly, this was not just a one-time trend, but the beginning of a movement toward thoughtful giving.
An interesting fact about Giving Tuesday is it encouraged giving in many areas, rather than one. Typically, events like blood drives of 5K runs for cancer are focused around one cause, but Giving Tuesday promoted giving to any charity you feel passionately about. Some of the historically most-supported categories include Faith-Based charities, Human Services organizations, and Medical Research, although charities supporting non-related causes also gained significant funds.
While Giving Tuesday’s events are nearly over, I want to highlight ways to find participating charities in your neighborhood. On the official Giving Tuesday site, there is a page where you can search by location to find organizations to support. This can be a great place to start, but you can also donate or volunteer with charities not listed on this page.
Although Giving Tuesday has been incredibly successful so far, I believe there is much more that can be done. If you are involved with a charity, talk to them about hosting an event next year for the holiday. You can also inform your family, friends, and professional network about the opportunities already available. I believe that Giving Tuesday will be around for many years, and I hope you will work alongside me to increase the good work that is done on this day.