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What Is Giving Tuesday (and Why It Matters)?

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Published August 7, 2023 Reading Time: 5 minutes

In a fast-paced world where it’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives, Giving Tuesday allows us to take a step back and make a collective (and incredible) impact.

New to Giving Tuesday? We’ve got you covered. Below, we explain everything you need to know about Giving Tuesday, including its history, impact, and importance. We’ll also give you practical tips to get involved and find organizations to support.

Donate to Your Favorite Nonprofits with Venmo This Giving Tuesday

What Is Giving Tuesday?

Imagine a day where kindness knows no bounds, and the ripple effect of individual compassion leads to year-round funding for charitable causes worldwide. That’s the magic of Giving Tuesday, which empowers individuals and communities to make a tangible difference in the world by rallying around nonprofits that need support.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement, occurring annually on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It serves as a counterbalance to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, redirecting the focus to acts of kindness and charitable giving.

While Giving Tuesday is only a single day, it’s also the official kickoff to the year-end giving season. It raises awareness and funding for causes that span all categories, potentially inspiring people to spend less on holiday shopping and instead contribute a portion of those resources to nonprofit organizations they stand behind.

History of Giving Tuesday: How It Started and Why It Matters

The birth of Giving Tuesday goes back to November 27, 2012. A team of innovators at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in New York City sought to create a movement that harnessed the power of social media and technology to promote charitable giving.

They wanted to establish a giving day that reminded everyone of the true meaning of the holiday season, encouraging people to think beyond materialistic pursuits and contribute to meaningful causes that positively impact society.

The team rallied nonprofits, businesses, and influencers to spread the message and inspire others to get involved in acts of giving. Hashtags like #GivingTuesday amplified the movement’s reach, making it a viral sensation across multiple social media platforms.

Here’s why Giving Tuesday matters today:

  1. Fostering generosity: Giving Tuesday dedicates a day to radical generosity, encouraging individuals to cultivate a culture of philanthropy and altruism. It reminds people of the joy and fulfillment of helping others and contributing to charitable causes that resonate with their values.
  2. Creating positive change: Giving Tuesday provides a unique opportunity for individuals and organizations to support various causes, from education and healthcare to environmental conservation and social justice. It can drive substantial resources toward addressing pressing global challenges as a collective force.
  3. Promoting global impact: Giving Tuesday has become a global day, celebrated in numerous countries worldwide since its birth. It transcends cultural and geographical boundaries, promoting global unity and compassion.
  4. Empowering nonprofits: Giving Tuesday is a crucial fundraising event for nonprofits and charitable organizations. It allows them to gain visibility, attract new donors, and engage with supporters interested in making a greater social impact.
  5. Building community: Giving Tuesday unites people, businesses, and communities around a shared purpose. It cultivates a sense of togetherness, reminding us that we can make positive changes when we work together.

Key Facts and Statistics: The Scope of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a game changer for nonprofits. Classy’s State of Modern Philanthropy 2022 report showed that organizations receive 10x more donations on Giving Tuesday than on an average giving day.

Here are a few statistics pulled from Classy’s 2022 Giving Tuesday platform data that shows the scope and impact of the giving day:

  • Average donation amount of $159
  • Nearly 10,000 campaigns raised a collective $44.2 million
  • Average recurring donation amount of $65

How to Participate on Giving Tuesday

Whether you’re an individual, business, or nonprofit organization, there are plenty of meaningful ways to get involved on Giving Tuesday. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

  1. Make a charitable donation: Support a cause close to your heart by donating to a nonprofit organization. Whether a local charity, an international humanitarian organization, or a cause-specific initiative, your contribution can make a significant difference.
  2. Volunteer your time and skills: Offer your time and expertise to a nonprofit or community organization—helping a local shelter, assisting a cleanup event, or providing pro-bono services.
  3. Fundraise for a cause: Host a fundraising event or campaign to raise money for a cause. You can organize a bake sale, 5K charity run, or online fundraising campaign to encourage friends and family to contribute.
  4. Support small businesses: Use Giving Tuesday to support local businesses and artisans. Purchase products or services in person from small businesses that give back to the community or donate a portion of their businesses’ proceeds to charity.
  5. Advocate for a cause: Use your voice to raise awareness about critical issues. Share information on social media, write a blog post, or participate in online discussions to advocate for positive change.
  6. Perform random acts of kindness: Brighten someone’s day with random acts of kindness. You could pay for a stranger’s coffee, leave positive notes around town, or help someone in need.
  7. Donate goods and supplies: Check with local shelters, food banks, or community centers to see what items these organizations need. You can donate food, clothing, toys, or other essential supplies.
  8. Engage in corporate giving: Match employee giving donations, organize volunteering opportunities, or sponsor a community event.
  9. Create a giving circle: Encourage friends, family, or colleagues to join forces and pool donations to support a specific cause or charity.
  10. Start a social media campaign: Leverage the power of social media to spread awareness and inspire others to participate. Use hashtags like #GivingTuesday to join the global conversation and create Giving Tuesday social media posts worth sharing.
  11. Host a virtual fundraiser: Organize a virtual fundraising event, such as an online auction, webinar, or live stream, to raise funds and engage with a broader audience.
  12. Give the gift of time: Offer experiences or activities to your loved ones instead of material gifts. Spend quality time together, create memories, and consider donating the money you would have spent on gifts to charity.

Classy’s comprehensive fundraising platform simplifies the giving process for donors. Here’s how:

  • Donate using PayPal and Venmo
  • Give cryptocurrency and enjoy the tax benefits
  • Select your preferred payment method using a digital wallet, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.
  • Set your gift as an automated recurring giving payment weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly, biannually, or annually
  • Attend hybrid fundraising events
  • Set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page to personalize and share on an organization’s behalf

Impactful Organizations and Initiatives to Consider

There’s no best organization to support this Giving Tuesday. It’s all about nonprofits, individuals, and organizations around the world doing good and giving back to communities—you have to find the ones that most align with your values.

Not sure where to start? Here are some diverse and impactful options to consider:

  1. Khan Academy: The Khan Academy is a renowned nonprofit educational organization offering a wide range of free, high-quality educational resources to learners of all ages worldwide. Its mission is to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.
  2. The Michael J. Fox Foundation: The MJFF was established by actor Michael J. Fox in 2000 after he publicly disclosed his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Since then, the foundation has become a leading force in Parkinson’s research and advocacy.
  3. Charity: water: The charity: water nonprofit organization brings clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Its work helps fund water projects that have a lasting impact on communities to improve health, education, and livelihoods.
  4. The Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is a leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth. Its team offers a lifeline to those in need and works toward creating a safe and accepting environment for young people.
  5. Girls Who Code: Girls Who Code works to close the gender gap in technology and engineering by empowering young girls with computer science education and growth opportunities.

Elevate Your Giving Tuesday Campaign With Classy

Want to streamline the donation process and make it easy for everyone to support your organization, especially during the giving season? We’ve got you covered.

Classy provides all the tools and know-how you need to fundraise for your organization. Whether you need to optimize your donation site, host a fundraising virtual event, strengthen your corporate partnerships, or upscale your online peer-to-peer fundraising features, Classy’s comprehensive fundraising platform can help.

Knowing the importance of Giving Tuesday, we’ve bundled all our top resources, best practices, tips, and templates into one toolkit. Grab your Giving Tuesday resources now to prepare for the year-end season ahead.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Giving Tuesday Resource Center

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