Each year, the consumerist upheaval surrounding Black Friday seems to reach a whole new level of extreme, with violence, aggression, and all out chaos reigning in retail stores nationwide. This annual retail event is as much a holiday staple as the gravy on the turkey you enjoyed just hours before heading into the Black Friday battle zone, yet somehow it feels like a serious departure from the generous, kind nature of this season. Aren’t the holidays supposed to be all about giving? The United Nations Foundation certainly thinks so, which is why last year, it kicked off “Giving Tuesday.”
“Giving Tuesday,” known on social media platforms as #GivingTuesday or even just #GT, is a chance for communities to join together and give, taking a step back from the consumerist mentality strapped to Black Friday, and more recently, Cyber Monday. According to the event’s organizers, “Giving Tuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the community to come together for Giving Tuesday.”
Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving, and one that focuses on non-profit organizations, and encourages charitable activities. Although the United Nations Foundation spearheaded this designated day of giving, 92Y, an esteemed cultural institution and community center, reportedly sparked it. Many corporate partners have helped to provide Giving Tuesday the exposure it needed last year to be successful, and with endorsement from the White House, and many leading organizations, the event has more than doubled in participation since last year.
During the 2012 inaugural Giving Tuesday, more than 2,500 charitable organizations became partners and encouraged their communities to participate in the day of giving. This year, a reported 7,000 nonprofit organizations are joining together to promote Giving Tuesday, a significant increase in participation that illustrates the power this event has to inspire generosity. The Salvation Army, Dress for Success Worldwide, The Seeing Eye, Kind Healthy Snacks, and thousands of others are inspiring their networks to give on Tuesday, December 3rd this year.
Learn more at givingtuesday.org.