What Is Giving Tuesday? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the Day of Generosity

Including how you can help others.

The time around the holidays is often called the “season of giving.” From Thanksgiving, when we practice gratitude to Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, when we celebrate offering presents to our loved ones, the holiday season is full of opportunities to give to others. But did you know there’s an entire day dedicated to exactly that? Behold: Giving Tuesday.

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday originated back in 2012 as one small idea: Encourage people to do good. It all began when the 92nd Street Y in New York City partnered with the United Nations Foundation for an initiative they called “Giving Tuesday.” Stemming from the idea that after Black Friday, when consumers spend millions of dollars on themselves, people should extend a helping hand to those in need. The initiative encouraged the community to give back.

By spreading the hashtag #GivingTuesday and giving advice for nonprofits who wanted to participate, an estimated $10 million was donated to charity on the first Giving Tuesday in 2012, thanks to the 92Y. In 2019, Giving Tuesday officially became an independent organization, and the momentum has only continued since then. In 2019, for example, #GivingTuesday was used in 145 countries around the world.

Simply put, Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back to others: through donating to charities, volunteering your time, or even just helping out a neighbor or stranger in need. At its core, Giving Tuesday is all about generosity. As the official Giving Tuesday website states, “Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor 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.”

When is Giving Tuesday 2021?

Since Giving Tuesday began in 2012, it has always been the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Its placement between Thanksgiving and Christmas makes for the perfect time to offer some holiday cheer to those in need. Giving Tuesday 2021 lands on November 30th.

Giving Tuesday ideas:

Whether you decide to offer your time, money, or resources, there are countless ways to participate in Giving Tuesday. Think as small as paying for the coffee of the person in line behind you or as big as creating a donation station for locals to drop off nonperishable food items or cleaning supplies to be donated.

If you want to dedicate the day to volunteering, use websites like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org to find local organizations where you can offer your help. If you can’t spend your time helping a cause in person, donations are always a great place to start.

Giving Tuesday charities:

There’s no official list of charities that participate in Giving Tuesday, so any cause that strikes a chord in you is worth pursuing. The day is all about giving back to your community and the efforts you care about, whatever that may be. However, Charities.org has an extensive list of tips for how to make the most of Giving Tuesday 2021 as an individual, so check that out.

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