Giving Tuesday was a massive success yesterday with twenty thousand organisations across America participating in the global day of giving.
It is a day dedicated to giving, following the mass consumerism after Thanksgiving of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Already, Giving Tuesday has reached 2 billion Twitter users and 300 million Facebookers resulting in real giving beyond a simple sharing of the hashtag. In 2012, the average online gift was $101.60, rising to $142.05 last year. It is hoped that this trend will continue to rise as Giving Tuesday becomes as well known as the Black and Cyber shopping days. But it’s not just about giving dollars – anyone can participate by giving their time, services or goods if they don’t have cash to spare, to any charitable organisation or movement that inspires them.
“Our slogan is, ‘Good for you, good for your city.’ So if you volunteer, you’re healthier, happier and you live longer,” said Paula Gavin, chief service officer of NYC Service.
Giving Tuesday began in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y community centre based in the upper east side of New York with help from the United Nations Foundation in Washington. The Y provides programs and services to more than 300,000 people who come through its doors, plus thousands more via the internet. The movement is supported by President Barack Obama, Bill Gates and many others who believe in the value of generosity and participation in giving.
Henry Timms, philanthropy superstar of 92nd Street Y explained, “A couple of years ago, a group of us here at the 92nd Street Y were thinking, ‘Okay, we’ve got Black Friday and we’ve got Cyber Monday, which are two days great for getting deals. What about Giving Tuesday? What about a day after two days of getting deals that is really all about giving back?'”
“There’s clearly a demand for this,” said Aaron Sherinian, a spokesperson with the UN Foundation. “We’re not saying to people, ‘don’t shop on Black Friday,’ or, ‘don’t shop on Cyber Monday.’ But we’re saying to people that giving season shouldn’t be something that happens around the last three days of the year, when a lot of people write checks. And regardless of your faith, your nationality, or your ZIP code, everyone has an opportunity to give back at the end of the year.”
Although Tuesday has gone, there are still plenty of ways to get involved in the philanthropy revolution. For more information, visit givingtuesday.org.