#GivingTuesday is a fourth quarter phenomenon of the holiday season. It is celebrated on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (U.S.), following right on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Indeed, it could be construed variously as an answer, an antidote or a complement to those “holidays” as it’s a day of giving, be it in the form of charitable donations or community service. Perhaps because it is essentially a standard bearer of the holiday spirit, #GivingTuesday has become more and more of a phenomenon every year since its inception in 2012.
So, where did #GivingTuesday get its start? It’s a day that was conceived of and brought to life by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The 92nd Street Y is a Jewish community center in New York City that welcomes folks of all faiths. It’s located on the Upper East Side and is about a 15 minute walk from the Met. From their location on Lexington Avenue, the movement has spread worldwide - at last count to more than 150 countries. In 2017 alone, more than 2.5 million people donated online, raising more than 300 million dollars. Pretty impressive for a sixth year, no?
Having international figures like Bill and Melinda Gates shine a spotlight on #GivingTuesday has helped to raise its profile. Too, social media has played a big role in raising awareness of the day which racked up an amazing 21.7 billion impressions last year. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to participate however they can and we have a sneaking suspicion that this open invitation and inclusiveness - no matter whether your financial position means you can contribute $1,000, $100, $10, $1 or lend a helping hand at the soup kitchen - has also helped #GivingTuesday spread in popularity. We have heard of people throwing #GivingTuesday parties, of taking the opportunity to do some volunteer work and then, of course, there are the many, many folks who generously donate online.
If you’re looking to do a little online giving this year yourself, do check out our past post, “5 Things We Learned about Charitable and Philanthropic Giving” for some links and research aids you may find helpful. Or, if you have Amazon points you’d like to use for a good cause, check out the blog post we published last year on #GivingTuesday: “12 Charities with Amazon Wish Lists,” a list of charities doing everything from helping the homeless, to supporting members of the military and first responders, to protecting animals, to helping the mobility impaired, to fighting child trafficking - and more. If you fancy making a difference today, we hope you find one or more of these resources helpful.
Happy giving, all - we hope you have a great #GivingTuesday!
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