What Is Giving Tuesday And Why Should You Get Involved?

‘Tis the season to be giving, and that is the whole purpose of Giving Tuesday. The new holiday is celebrated on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and marks the beginning of charity season. In stark contrast from Black Friday and Cyber Monday that come before it, the money spent on Giving Tuesday isn’t about consumerism but instead, the day celebrates our giving nature and the growing number of charities that depend on it. Many people worldwide come together on this day to give their money, their time, or both as a way to give back for all that they are grateful to have.

Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by a New York City nonprofit the 92nd Street Y. As USA Today reported, the idea behind Giving Tuesday was to get people back in the spirit again after two very consumer-driven shopping days. The day started out as a hashtag on social media, so don’t be surprised if you see #GivingTuesday trending online.

Even though Giving Tuesday was started by a charity, it has turned into a movement where donating is the whole point, and it doesn’t really matter which charitable cause gets the donations. The idea behind the day is to transition from the chaos and excitement of buying gifts for others (and maybe a few for yourself) of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and instead, you could begin to think of which non-profits to support during the holiday season.

Naturally, organizers behind the new special day would like those who take part to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to let others know which charities they decided to support. The use of social media to promote the day of donations helps to spread awareness and to get others involved.

On this fifth anniversary of Giving Tuesday, here are a few things to know about the unofficial, yet popular new holiday. The idea behind the new celebrated day is to promote philanthropy and increase the amount that we give in the form of donations. It is an international day and not just celebrated in the United States.

Giving Tuesday isn’t just about opening up your wallet and donating money. After spending Black Friday and Cyber Monday burning a hole through your wallet, some people don’t have the extra cash to start making donations right away too. That’s okay! This day is also about volunteering, and that is a great way to celebrate.

Giving Shoes, Giving Jobs, #GivingTuesday. It’s simple. It’s practical. It’s compassion. https://t.co/YOiAEzNFbu pic.twitter.com/CMPCFxOU2u

— Abbie (@AbbieGelzer) November 29, 2016

During the holiday season, there are plenty of non-profits and other groups just looking for a few people willing to help out. Those who are interested in getting involved can either spend the day giving their time, or they can use this day as a reminder to find a great place to volunteer on a more regular basis. The idea behind Giving Tuesday isn’t just to give time and money once a year. Instead, it’s to promote helping and getting involved in general and just serves as a reminder and a kick start to the holiday season when so many feel inclined to give back as a way of showing how thankful they are for all that they have.

Whether you decide to open your wallet and donate to the Red Cross or to go down to the local homeless shelter and serve up some meals, Giving Tuesday is all about helping, donating, and just being aware of the needs of others. How will you be spending your Giving Tuesday? For those who donated either money or time, be sure to leave a comment and tell us who you donated to on this celebrated day.

[Featured Image by Karen Roach/Shutterstock]