A new movement called #GivingTuesday has experienced massive success since its first year. Launched in 2012, the online campaign is held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It is a 24-hour online campaign emphasizing altruism in response to commercial days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In its first year, #GivingTuesday raised $10.1 million. The fourth year has seen charitable donations increase 10-fold, raising $116.7 million. This is double the amount raised last year, which was nearly $46 million. These numbers don’t include the volunteer efforts, acts of kindness, or donations of good of people participating around the world.
The movement started as a collaborative initiative between New York City’s 92Y and the United Nations Foundation. The first #GivingTuesday was hosted in 2012, with support from large organizations like Google, Microsoft and UNICEF. In its first year, #GivingTuesday was a campaign focused on a national scale. By 2014 the campaign extended itself globally and included participation from organizations within 68 countries.
#GivingTuesday embraces the power of social media and encourages participants to share their story with the hashtag #GivingTuesday. This year, the online community shared more than 1.3 million tweets mentioning the tag. This is an 86% increase in activity since last year. Participation includes mentions from high profile people like Susan Sarandon, Melinda Gates, and Bette Midler. The #GivingTuesday team encourages participants to share #unselfies and explain how they support the movement. The #MyGivingStory tag was used on Twitter to gather the stories of participants.
Participation isn’t limited to monetary donations. You can partake by donating things you longer use, like warm clothing or blankets. Find your local food bank and give non-perishables like canned foods and dry goods. Volunteer your time at a local animal shelter, or a hospital. If you want to stay close to home, ask your neighbors if they need any help. The goal of #GivingTuesday is to spread generosity, and spending your time on others counts. While this campaign focuses on one day, be sure to spread kindness throughout the year.