‘Giving Tuesday’ Shifts Focus From Getting Deals to Giving Back

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Feeling a little sheepish about all the cash you dropped on holiday gifts? Consider participating in this one-day charitable giving promotion.

Now that the big bargain-shopping events – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday – are over, consumers are encouraged to open their hopefully not-too-empty wallets again, but this time, for charity.

It’s the fourth annual Giving Tuesday or #GivingTuesday, a one-day charitable giving promotion that celebrates generosity and encourages consumers to give back.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, a New York-based cultural and community center, and the United Nations Foundation. More than 30,000 organizations in 68 countries around the globe now participate in the one-day giving event.

According to GivingTuesday.org, since the charitable giving day began four years ago, there has been a 470 percent increase in online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. In 2014, Giving Tuesday generated $46 million in donations, a whopping 63 percent increase from 2013, NPR reports.

Giving Tuesday is about more than bringing in monetary donations.

“People across the US have given blood, coats, pianos, time, and so many other gifts,” said Henry Timms, executive director of 92nd Street Y, in a foreword in Blackbaud’s report on Giving Tuesday trends. “Schools have sat down to discuss philanthropy with kids on #GivingTuesday. Entire cities and states have come together to shine a light on the good work happening locally. People everywhere have found ways to show they care for others.”

Blackbaud said online gift amounts exceed $100 for most organizations on Giving Tuesday. Timms told Reuters that Giving Tuesday gains more steam each year.

“It speaks to the most American of values,” Timms explained in an interview. “America is the most generous country in the world. Giving Tuesday was a beneficiary of that strand of DNA. It spoke to a sense of a lot of people around the holidays that we need to ritualize how we think of others.”

Giving Tuesday has experienced double-digit, year-over-year growth in online donations since it began.

Do you donate your time or money or give in another way on Giving Tuesday? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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