We’ve all heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about a day devoted to giving back to the communities all around us?
Giving Tuesday has been doing just that since 2011. First started at the 92nd Street Y as a way to encourage people to donate to nonprofits and community organizations, Giving Tuesday has grown into a worldwide phenomenon that raised over $117 million last year. Organizers say they expect interest to be even greater this year.
“Since the election, we’ve seen towns and cities come together and decide to celebrate community,” says Asha Curran, the 92nd Street Y’s chief innovation officer. “Giving Tuesday was created as a way to give your time, give your money and give your voice to causes you believe in.”
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As conversations about how to get more involved continue to heat up in the coming days, we have everything you need to know about how to participate in Giving Tuesday.
Finding the rightorganization for you
On a tight budget this year? Curran says even small donations can make a big difference to most nonprofits. “It doesn’t even have to be a donation, it could be an act of kindness,” she says. Curran encourages potential donors to browse through the #GivingTuesday hashtag on both Twitter and Facebook to see which groups or causes appeal to them. You can also visit givingtuesday.org and search for organizations by region and issue.
Social media has always played a vital part in the growth of GivingTuesday. While many donors often feel shy about announcing their support of a particular charity or cause, Curran says Facebook and Twitter posts about donating can make a vital difference. “I think we underestimate how much of an impact talking about our donations can have. The truth is, people give because they are asked to by a friend or they see their friends are doing so.”
For donors who want to share a version of their story that’s longer than 140 characters, Giving Tuesday is also hosting its My Giving Story contest with the Gates Foundation and Facebook. Donors who write a short essay can win up to $10,000 in donations for the nonprofit of their choice. You can visit the Giving Tuesday Facebook page for more information.
Curran notes that even countries that traditionally do not celebrate Thanksgiving (or have Black Friday sales) are beginning to embrace Giving Tuesday. “We have partners in Russia, Brazil, Croatia and the United Kingdom,” she notes. “While those countries are all very different, the things that drive our partners are all the same. They care about their communities, they care about their schools, they care about the environment.”