This year, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been deemed #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday began in 2012 through a collaboration between 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. As these organizations began to consider the giving spirit of the holidays, they decided to come together with the hope of finding ways to promote and celebrate the giving spirit of the holiday season. Their mission was simply this: to create a day in which charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together to celebrate generosity, and to give. As their project gained steam, organizations like Blackbaud, Groupon, and Unilever joined the effort and began contributing creative ways for people to embrace the #GivingTuesday mission. With news and opinion sites like the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, Forbes, and even the official blog of the White House providing coverage and “giving guides,” the newest addition to the holiday season saw some $10 million in donations. This means 2012’s #GivingTuesday saw a 53% increase in donations as compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2011! #GivingTuesday’s sophomore effort enjoyed a 75% increase in organizational participation, and some of these organizations reported a 90% increase in donations as compared to the first official #GivingTuesday only a year before.
Since #GivingTuesday’s inaugural effort two years ago, organizations all around the world have joined the movement and the call to give. However, a prudent question in the midst of such astronomical generosity is “why give?” In response, Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation, explained, “#GivingTuesday offers America a new narrative, challenging us to think beyond Black Friday and Cyber Monday and reminding us that the spirit of the holiday giving season should be about community and not just consumerism. The most meaningful gift we can give our children, loved ones, friends, and neighbors is the commitment to work together to build a better world.”
To this end, here are some simple ways to stay updated and to get involved:
- Like #GivingTuesday on Facebook: facebook.com/GivingTuesday.
- Follow #GivingTuesday on Twitter: @GivingTues and use the #GivingTuesday hashtag.
- Donate your time and/or your resources to your favorite organization or charity. Your gift, regardless of size or shape, makes a difference!
- Show your support for #GivingTuesday by posting a picture on Instagram/tweeting with the hashtag #unselfie, and let the world know where, why, and how you’re giving.
#GivingTuesday has been generally designed so that we might generously give so your involvement is truly as large as your imagination. On Tuesday, December 2nd take the opportunity partner with your favorite organization, and, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Lose yourself in the service of others.”