National Day of Giving takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which occurs every fourth Friday of November. This year, it takes place on November 28. Did you know that the National Day of Giving was only created in 2012? National Day of Giving, also known as Giving Tuesday or Global Day of Giving follows three major shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It is created to unleash the power of radical generosity by giving to those in need or charities. Non-profits and charitable organizations usually participate in the day to run end-of-year campaigns and fundraise for the disadvantaged and underserved. Giving Tuesday is a global movement observed in most countries around the world. 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 National Day of Giving
Giving is an act that is as old as human civilization. Since prehistoric times, people have provided for the less-privileged among them in one way or another. One of the earliest records of giving can be traced to 2500 B.C. in ancient Hebrew, where taxes were instituted to help the poor. Hebrews were mandated to give a tenth of their earnings or harvests to benefit the entire community. It is now known as tithing and is widely practiced by Christians.
Also, in 500 B.C., the word ‘philanthropy’ appeared for the first time in a drama by Aeschylus called “Prometheus Bound.” The word was derived from the ancient Greek phrase ‘philanthropia,’ a combination of ‘phil’ (love) and ‘antro’ (man or to love people).
Moving to 1180 A.D. when the Roman emperor Augustus gave public aid to about 200,000 people. This was labeled as one of the earliest displays of philanthropy on a large scale. Likewise, a Jewish physician and philosopher known as Moses Maimonides conceived the Eight Levels of Charity contained in the “Mishneh Torah.” It was written as an ethical obligation and its highest form is to give a gift, loan, or partnership that will result in the recipient becoming self-sufficient instead of living upon others.
During the medieval times and Renaissance, charity activities were led and handled by the Church and a few individuals interested in helping the poor. However, that changed in the 1600s, following the fall of the Catholic Church and the breakdown of the traditional philanthropic structure. In 1601, the British Parliament enacted The Charitable Uses Act of 1601 containing a list of activities that were believed to generally benefit the society. The list also encouraged private contributions.
We witnessed increased voluntary, charitable, and innovative organizations in the act of giving between the 20th and 21st centuries. Nonprofits began leveraging social media as a medium to reach more people and emotionally connect with individuals. In 2010, some of the world’s richest men, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, began the Giving Pledge campaign to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to donate a significant portion of their wealth.
Initiated by Henry Timms, in 2012 New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together to create a day for giving. With several organizations from across the world joining the partnership in subsequent years, the day finally evolved into the National Day of Giving.
National Day of Giving timeline
‘Philanthropy’ appears for the first time in the Greek play “Prometheus Bound.”
The British Parliament enacts The Charitable Uses Act of 1601.
Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and some of the world’s wealthiest people donate a significant portion of their wealth.
New York’s 92nd Street Y partners with the United Nations Foundation to create a day for giving.
National Day of Giving FAQs
What is the Month of Giving?
In the United States, the month of December is considered the Month of Giving.
What time of year are people most giving?
Many charitable organizations receive a large percentage of their gifts in the final quarter of the year, with the most gifts arriving between Thanksgiving and December 31.
What is the best month to have a fundraiser?
The last quarter of the year is a great time for fundraising.
How to Observe National Day of Giving
Donate to charity
This is the simplest way of giving on the National Day of Giving. Do you have a cause you are passionate about? Research organizations focusing on that area, check their projects and support their work with any amount you can afford.
Collect non-perishable food items
If you want to do more than give cash, you can work towards feeding the hungry this holiday season. Use Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping deals to buy as many food items as you can afford and donate the extras to a food bank, local pantry, or soup kitchen. You can also organize a food drive at your office and community.
Get toys for children in orphanages
You can also put a smile on a kid’s face this holiday season by giving them toys. Children in orphanages don’t have parents that can get them toys or loved ones they can spend time with during the holidays. You can do your part by cheering them up with toys. Grab those toy deals and make this National Day of Giving count!
5 Interesting Facts About Giving
It’s a global movement
Giving Tuesday is observed in 80 countries worldwide.
People participate in more than one way
According to statistics, 28% of Giving Tuesday participants gave money, 37% gave time and goods, and 35% did both.
There’s a good reason behind the participation
Most Giving Tuesday participants say that they’re doing it because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Its reach is huge
#GivingTuesday gets billions of impressions each year on all social media platforms.
The age group that’s likely to participate
People between the ages of 18 to 34 years are aware of Giving Tuesday and are more likely to participate.
Why National Day of Giving is Important
It’s a time of radical generosity
National Day of Giving shows that despite the billions spent on shopping on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, people are capable of matching it up in generosity. Today’s the day you can give back.
Non-profits use the opportunity to fundraise
New giving records are set by non-profit organizations that leverage the National Day of Giving for their campaigns. That has allowed them to make the most impact for their causes and the communities they serve before the year ends.
Giving is fun
Acts of giving, such as volunteering at a shelter, food bank, or abroad in a disadvantaged community, offer an enjoyable experience. During these activities, you meet individuals from different backgrounds, learn new skills and cultures, impact people’s lives, and make new friends.
National Day of Giving dates