Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday - Tuesday, December 3, 2024

Cause Friendship

What is Giving Tuesday?

Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people take the time to kickoff the holiday season by giving back to their community. Whether it be donating money to a charitable cause or volunteering, Giving Tuesday is a day set to benefit the community. 

History of Giving Tuesday

The idea of Giving Tuesday was first announced in September 2012, two months prior to the first Giving Tuesday occurring on November 27. The announcement was made by Giving Tuesday founding partner and 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. Other Giving Tuesday founders and partners include Skype, Cisco, Microsoft, Sony, Aldo, Case Foundation, Heifer International, Phoenix House, and Starwood Hotels. Shortly before and after November 27, 2012, Giving Tuesday was covered by 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 in 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 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 takes place on Tuesday directly after American Thanksgiving, which in turn takes place on the 4th Thursday of November. Giving Tuesday was created to help the “giving season” get started, reminding people that there is more to holidays than consumerism and commercialization.

History of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday was created when two organizations, the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012, about a month before that year’s Thanksgiving. Their intention was to set aside a day that was all about celebrating the generosity of giving, a great American tradition.

Many though leaders in the areas of social media, philanthropy and grassroots quickly joined in, and together they created a group of founding partners including United Nations Foundation, Cisco, Mashable, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Sony, Aldo, Groupon, UNICEF, Google, Skype, Microsoft and Unilever. The first announcement about Giving Tuesday was made through Mashable, a technology website. The first Giving Tuesday was covered extensively by the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, ABC News, Deseret News, and the White House official blog, causing the scheme to gain an enormous amount of popularity in a short period of time.

Giving Tuesday is organized and celebrated each year with the simple aim of encouraging individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to give to the less fortunate. A year later, in 2013, even more organizations joined in, including eBay (which gives a percentage of all its sales proceeds from a week in December to Giving Tuesday) and fashion designer Kevin Cole, who both designed and promoted awareness ID bracelets, giving 100% of the proceeds to Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday has been praised by many, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a newspaper that covers the nonprofit world, as an antidote to consumer culture and a way for people to give back.

How to Celebrate Giving Tuesday

There is no shortage of ways in which this can be done. In recent years ideas have included organizing fundraisers, with the intention of giving the proceeds to a charity. As there are many ways to give in order to help others, and many things that can be given besides just money, there have been numerous other schemes.

Among these are blood drives to give some assistance to local hospitals, volunteer fairs at which individuals can pledge to give time to community projects, and families giving food from their home to local pantries. The hashtag #GivingTuesday was also created to raise awareness about the needy and encourage people to give to charities.

If you like, you can join Giving Tuesday’s team of Social Media Ambassadors, who are dedicated to spreading the word about #GivingTuesday and taking collaborative action to give back. At the end of the day, the truth is that there are thousands of charity organization the world over, many of which are likely located somewhere near you.

Every single one of them could use your help, so find a cause that is especially important to you personally, whether it’s fighting a certain type of cancer, helping to buy schoolbooks for children from very poor families, or helping the animals at your local animal shelter, and take action! However you choose to celebrate the day, you can then share your story with Giving Tuesday’s official website to spread the word to the entire world.

Giving Tuesday timeline


A charitable record

$400 million was raised in total donations for Giving Tuesday, a new record for the holiday. 


A dollar for a dollar

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $2 million in matching for donations to fundraisers on Facebook, ultimately raising $45 million.


Real time efforts

The Giving Tuesday movement launched Giving Tower, a fund raising app that allows people to see the world's charitable efforts grow in real time. 


A day to give back

Giving Tuesday was created by technology companies Mashable, Skype, and Cisco

Giving Tuesday FAQs

Why should you give on Giving Tuesday?

3 reasons to give on Giving Tuesday are:
  1. It provides personal satisfaction
  2. You’re helping someone who needs it
  3. Your contribution might inspire others to give too

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?

A few fundraising sites you can visit are:
  1. Fundly
  2. Classy
  3. GoFundMe
  4. YouCaring
You can also walk down to your local animal shelter and donate pet food, beds, and toys

Giving Tuesday Activities

  1. 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.

  2. Volunteer

    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. 

  3. Donate clothes/shoes

    That sweater you swore you would wear this fall (and never saw the daylight), 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).

Why We Love Giving Tuesday

  1. It makes us feel good

    Whether you admit it or not, the holiday season can get the best of us. Especially when our main stressors are 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.

  2. We can help those in need

    By volunteering at a local community center, or donating money to your favorite organization, we're are 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.

  3. 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.

Also on Tue Dec 3, 2024...