Giving Tuesday: A Reason to Give Instead of Spend

By: Gina Mason

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are three consecutive days out the year where many of us attempt to burn off all of those Thanksgiving calories by burning through our wallets and holiday shopping lists. What used to be a time spent with family and giving thanks for what we have, has now turned into a consumer-oriented shopping frenzy, filled with long lines and discounted electronics.

However, thanks to a brilliant viral movement /international fundraising event called, Giving Tuesday, people now are dedicating a day solely to giving back to great causes instead of spending money on materialistic goods. According to The Associated Press, Giving Tuesday, “was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y in New York City and the United Nations Foundation to kick start the critical holiday giving season after Thanksgiving.”

As you may have guessed, Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and it encourages people from around the world to “come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.” According to GivingTuesday.com, “It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving.”

Some of the ways to give include, donating your time or money to a worthwhile cause, getting involved in your community, spreading the important message of giving back on social media or simply doing something nice for someone else. The concept is simple, give back in any way you can to make the world a better place.

I had never heard of Giving Tuesday until I recently when saw a bunch of social media posts with the signature hashtag #GivingTuesday. To my surprise after a quick Google search, I found that Giving Tuesday has turned into huge international movement which has raised millions of dollars and helped organizations from all over the world.

Here are some of the outstanding numbers from this year’s Giving Tuesday:

• There was approximately $45.68 million dollars donated this year, a 63 percent increase over 2013
• The average gift was $154
• There were 32.7 million Twitter impressions with over 698,000 hashtag mentions
• There were 68 countries that participated in this year’s Giving Tuesday including Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador and Singapore
• There were over 15,000 participating nonprofits and 20,000 participating sponsors

It appears as though Giving Tuesday has grown dramatically over the past three years and many expect it to continue to grow in the coming years. According to AP, “Ken Berger of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator said the new annual phenomenon in philanthropy reflects a growing savviness around how to use social media to generate support for nonprofits. Giving Tuesday could become one of the top days of the year when people give, he said, though it’s not likely to trump Dec. 31 when many people make tax-deductible gifts.”

I think Giving Tuesday is a great reminder for us all to take a moment and help others in any way we can. I really hope this movement continues to gain momentum and awareness and more people can be positively impacted.

If you are interested in learning more about Giving Tuesday, be sure to check out the website: http://www.givingtuesday.org/

Lastly, mark Tuesday, December 1, 2015, on your calendars to get involved next year!

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

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