While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the more widely known retail holidays, Giving Tuesday is becoming pretty popular in its own right.
Celebrated on the Tuesday following American Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday helps raise awareness that charity is an important component of the holiday season. The nonprofit services company Neon says nearly one-third of all annual giving occurs in December, with 12 percent happening over the final three days of the year. Giving Tuesday is positioned right in the midst of the most popular time for charitable giving.
What makes Giving Tuesday unique is that it is largely fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The day was actually created by the 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City that has been instrumental in bringing diverse groups of people together with the goals of giving back through service. The 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation came together in 2012 to help form a day that was focused on the generosity of giving during the holiday season. Thus, Giving Tuesday was born.
Technology and social media play a large role in uniting people for Giving Tuesday. Founding partners included Mashable, a technology website, Skype and Cisco. But the success of Giving Tuesday is thanks in large part to the general public, who have both spread the word and made their own contributions to charity.
In 2017, Giving Tuesday soared to new heights when technology mogul Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, announced their foundation would match up to $2 million in donations to Giving Tuesday fundraisers started on Facebook. Facebook similarly waived its 5 percent fee for U.S.-based nonprofits all day long.
The global Giving Tuesday movement helped raise more than $300 million online across more than 150 countries in 2017 alone. This year, the Giving Tuesday organization is poised to top their numbers and continue to improve upon the more than 46,000 participating organizations involved in their charitable efforts. Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org.