Today, on what we think of as the “other” Tuesday in November, millions around the country will come together to celebrate that tradition.
#GivingTuesday began as a simple idea at 92nd Street Y in New York City: after two days for getting deals — Black Friday and Cyber Monday — how about a day for giving back, an “opening day” for giving season?
From there, a movement was built by individuals, families, organizations and communities across all 50 states. Citizens everywhere came together to demonstrate our common willingness to give.
Acts like these aren’t “breaking news.” Neither are they laced with conflict. The ordinary, everyday act of kindness does not often go viral. The qualities we all share are not often the most “shareable.” Yet they are essential to our democracy.
In 2015, nonprofits raised over $117 million online on #GivingTuesday, and much more was generated offline and through donations of time, clothes, food and other resources. This year, we expect to see people giving more than ever. Just as important, we will see communities across the country coming together.
In Baltimore, 1,000 people with very different backgrounds will split into small groups and perform acts of kindness. Some will bake and deliver casseroles to people in need. Some will collect books and add them to pop-up libraries. Some will clean up local parks. They share one goal: to make their city stronger.
In Bethel, Alaska, a city that serves as a transportation hub to more than 50 surrounding Native American villages, there will be a fill-the-boot campaign at their local three-way stop, the only one in town, that most people pass by each day on their way to work. Donations will benefit local nonprofits and services, from Bethel Search and Rescue to the Tundra Women’s Coalition.
The City University of New York (CUNY) is launching its first-ever university-wide giving day, #CUNYTuesday. It aims to raise $1 million in 24 hours to support students at their 24 colleges, including money for student scholarships and emergency funds.
ORGANIZE, the online organ donor platform, will use #GivingTuesday to encourage people to “Give with your Heart” by registering as organ donors online. Last year, they registered thousands of Americans, making it by far the biggest digital donor drive in US history. And World Relief is encouraging folks to help build “Welcome Kits” for refugee families, which includes kitchen supplies, bedding, and other household items.
To learn more about #GivingTuesday, click here.