‘Giving Tuesday’ Answers Black Friday, Cyber Monday Retail Orgies

Giving Tuesday has emerged after Black Friday and its online counterpart, Cyber Monday, escalated to massive retail events where consumers emptied out their wallets in pursuit of a few bucks off the ever-growing list of holiday season tchotchkes and baubles needed to play ball.

The idea behind Giving Tuesday is to counter the “getting” of days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday with one for a more amorphous but altruistic focus on “giving.”

Giving Tuesday is new in 2012, and simple mission statements on the site for the project as well as its Facebook page explain:

#GivingTuesday™ is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.

The idea of Giving Tuesday seems to have germinated at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, but was quickly adopted by other organizations attempting to push the idea of diverting some pre-holiday energy to do-gooding forward. Giving Tuesday’s “about” page explains:

“New York’s 92nd Street Y has been the catalyst and incubator for #GivingTuesday, bringing the expertise of 139 years of community-management to the project, and providing #GivingTuesday a home … The United Nations Foundation joined as partners, bringing their strategic and communications clout to the project.”

It continues:

“An amazing team of influencers then offered their ideas, contacts and wisdom to help shape and improve the concept … A powerful list of corporations and non-profits agreed to be founding partners, helping spread the word and committing to their own #GivingTuesday initiatives … And, since then, countless organizations, friends and leaders have all added their support and talents to make #GivingTuesday a reality.”

Some big names have lent their influence to promoting Giving Tuesday, including Bill Gates, who tweeted:

You can learn more at Giving Tuesday’s official site or on their Facebook page.