This year, Giving Tuesday – November 28 – arrives amid two major international conflicts, increased domestic turmoil and continued economic uncertainty. Despite signs of economic growth, fundraisers continue to worry donors may not contribute enough to counter the steep decline (13.4%) in individual giving we saw in 2022. This year’s concerns go well beyond the middle-class donors whose numbers have been steadily declining and whose gifts have become smaller. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported, “Donations of $1 million or more were down significantly in the first nine months of 2023 compared with the previous year.”
Giving Tuesday was founded in November 2012 by New York City’s 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Giving Tuesday has served for a decade as an online counterpoint to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It now reaches over 80 countries and fosters not only financial gifts to charitable causes but also in-kind donations and miscellaneous gifts of time. And Giving Tuesday is no longer simply a one-day event – it is an independent nonprofit organization that “collaborates year-round to inspire generosity around the world, with a common mission to build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.”
In the United States, donors and others frequently participate on Giving Tuesday in their home communities where local nonprofits launch dedicated campaigns to increase awareness of the programs and services they provide and utilize online donation platforms to simplify the act of giving. Charitable organizations may also mark Giving Tuesday by planning group volunteer activities such as roadside cleanups, food and clothing collections and blood drives.
But Giving Tuesday also enables donors to learn about regional, national or global needs, and can inspire investments in previously unknown high-impact organizations that improve the daily lives and enhance the opportunities available to individuals and families far from home.
Most importantly, Giving Tuesday recognizes and celebrates the critical roles civil society and private giving play in advancing human flourishing. In 2022, despite the above-mentioned decline in overall individual giving, Giving Tuesday contributions in the United States totaled $3.1 billion – an increase of 15% over 2021 and a 25% increase over 2020 totals.
However you choose to engage with Giving Tuesday this year, large and small donors alike can take advantage of the opportunity to grow the habit of generosity. Identify charitable organizations that align with your values, work on issues you deem most important and improve the welfare of our communities, and then – just give.
For more information on how to plan your giving for the remainder of 2023, read our “Tips to Guide Your End-of-Year Charitable Giving.”