Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people take the time to kick off the holiday season by giving back to their community. Whether it is donating money to a charitable cause or volunteering, Giving Tuesday is a day set to benefit the community. If you want to take part by buying a gift for someone whilst giving back to charity in the process, then check out our gift guide.
History of Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The holiday was first announced in September 2012, two months prior to the first Giving Tuesday occurring on November 27. The announcement was made by the technology website, Mashable. The purpose of the day is to inspire people and companies to take action, just like Black Friday and Cyber Monday created a framework for retailers to sell merchandise.
Shortly before and after November 27, 2012, Giving Tuesday was covered by “The Washington Post,” the White House official blog, ABC News, and “Huffington Post.” Forbes also used the occasion to publish a guide on effective giving.
In 2013, Mashable partnered with Google+ to hold a ‘hangout-a-thon’ for Giving Tuesday. The holiday received coverage on many philanthropy information websites, including “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” and Charity Navigator. “The Chronicle of Philanthropy” article highlighted a donation by Good Ventures to GiveDirectly, Google’s hangout-a-thon, and matching grants announced by the Case Foundation. Charitable giving on Giving Tuesday in 2013 was approximately twice the value of that in 2012, with over 7,000 participating nonprofits.
For the 2018 holiday occurrence, Facebook and PayPal announced they’d match up to $7 million in donations to United States nonprofits on a first come first serve basis. The match limit was hit after only an hour, with an announcement saying the match was achieved within seconds. A total of $125 million was raised via Facebook on Giving Tuesday, the highest for a single day on the platform.
Giving Tuesday timeline
Giving Tuesday is created by technology companies Mashable, Skype, and Cisco.
The Giving Tuesday movement launches Giving Tower, a fundraising app that allows people to see the world's charitable efforts grow in real time.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announces $2 million in matching for donations to fundraisers on Facebook, ultimately raising $45 million.
$400 million is raised in total for Giving Tuesday, a new record for the holiday.
Giving Tuesday - Survey Results
Giving Tuesday FAQs
Why should you give on Giving Tuesday?
How do I participate in Giving Tuesday?
You can participate in Giving Tuesday by finding an online fundraising site to contribute to or donating to your favorite charities and nonprofits.
Where can I donate on Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday Activities
Donate to your favorite charity
With an abundance of causes to support, there are many options for people to donate to charity. You can mail in a check, drop off some money, or even click 'Donate' from the comfort of your desk.
We sometimes forget that one helpful way of giving back is by volunteering. Contact a local hospital, shelter, or nonprofit ahead of time and see how you can help.
That sweater you swore you would wear this fall (which never saw the light of day), can be of use to someone in need. Go through your closet and donate any articles of clothing you know you're not going to wear again (or ever).
5 Heartwarming Facts About Giving Tuesday
3.6 million total online gifts in 2018
Even if we're not donating to fundraisers or nonprofits, we can still give to the people we love — this philosophy was proven in 2018 by a total of 3.6 million online gifts purchased specifically for Giving Tuesday, which occurs very close to Christmas and Chanukah.
1 million social media mentions in 2017
Nothing spreads the word faster than social media, which is probably why Giving Tuesday has been such a successful charity holiday — in 2017, the day had over 1 million mentions on social media from people using the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
$10 million raised in 2012
Pretty good for their very first year, Giving Tuesday raised a little over $10 million dollars on their very first celebration of the day in 2012 — sure, this seems very little in comparison to the $400 million raised in 2018, but for a day that was only announced two months prior, $10 million is a huge achievement.
$2.47 billion donated to nonprofits in 2020
An astonishing $2.47 billion was donated to U.S. nonprofits by a reported 34.8 million people on Giving Tuesday in 2020.
$1.97 billion total donations in 2019
The estimated total of online and offline giving in the United States on Giving Tuesday 2019 was $1.97 billion.
Why We Love Giving Tuesday
It makes us feel good
Whether you admit it or not, the holiday season can get the best of us. Especially when our main stressor is what gift to get that certain family member. If we splurge on materialist goods, giving back to a charitable cause takes some of that guilt away.
We can help those in need
By volunteering at a local community center or donating money to our favorite organization, we're able to help those in need. You can provide a warm meal at the local soup kitchen or even clean drinking water by donating $5.
Anyone can participate
You don't have to be rich or in the Peace Corps to participate in Giving Tuesday, every small act counts. Donating $1 can make a huge impact on any cause.
Giving Tuesday dates