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What is Giving Tuesday?

Held directly after the consumer rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this global philanthropic event empowers people to transform their respective communities through direct charitable contributions.

Amid the holiday season, it’s not unusual to feel inundated by consumerism, particularly when the start of the shopping period is marked by a weekend that actively promotes excess purchasing.

But with Black Friday and Cyber Monday now behind us, it’s time we tuned into a slightly less self-centred social movement, Giving Tuesday.

Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday is intended to promote and encourage generosity, focusing on our desire to do something meaningful during the post-cash-splash comedown.

Outside of awareness days for individual causes, organisations, or national and international crises, there are few opportunities to drive a large group of people’s attention to giving on any particular day.


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For this reason, the initiative serves as a great funding opportunity for non-profits. Individual donors give more freely than corporations and foundations combined, which means more money can be poured into causes that really need it.

Since its initial launch – a year that saw an estimated $10 million donated to charity – non-profits all over the world have hosted fundraisers and events, using the branding and hashtag associated with the movement to their benefit.

As a result, momentum hasn’t slowed and, despite the pandemic, 2020’s Giving Tuesday was its most successful yet, with record high donations and almost 35 million participants.

‘Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbour or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give,’ reads its mission statement.


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‘Our aspiration is to build a world in which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity and equity around the globe. We believe that generosity leads to greater civic participation and other pro-social behaviours.’

Inspiring us to work together, help each other, and transform our respective communities through direct charitable contributions, the global philanthropic event has never been more important.

With several countries in economic turmoil following almost two years of Covid-19, not to mention the gravity of our current climate crisis, an increasingly large number of people don’t even have sufficient funds to support themselves, let alone their families.

Displacing and isolating so many, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of leveraging community efforts to create a timely impact.


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‘A lot of people look at Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to donate financially to non-profits, but we really welcome all types of giving,’ says Giving Tuesday’s Chief Communications Officer, Caryn Stein.

‘It could be volunteering, it could be donating some food to the food bank, it could be reaching out to your neighbour just to check in. Everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts.’

At its core, Giving Tuesday requires thoughtfulness about the impact of our contributions, whatever form they take. That’s why its organisers won’t tell you who to donate to or where to volunteer, so as to ensure we make the most of this occasion to really talk about how to do good in the world.

Want to make a start in giving yourself? You can check out various ways to get involved here. There’s never a better time to show your generosity than #GivingTuesday, people!


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