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#GivingTuesday promotes charity, volunteerism

Molly Wood Dec 1, 2015
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After the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, organizers of a global giving movement are hoping individuals will show their generosity to those in need.   

The movement, #GivingTuesday, which occurs the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (December 1 this year), was created in 2012 by Henry Timms, executive director of 92nd Street Y, a New York-based nonprofit organization.

“On #GivingTuesday this year, you’re going to see everything from people making donations online, to blood drives, to coat drives, to a campaign called #GamingTuesday where the gaming community around the world are getting together to help Save the Children,” Timms said.

According to the #GivingTuesday website, the movement harnesses the power of social media (32.7 million twitter impressions) and of its partners, which include businesses and corporations, civic and nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals and their families.

#GivingTuesday, which had 5,000 partners in its inaugural year, has spread to more than 30,000 partners in 68 countries. Some of the partners participating in this year’s movement include a growing number of technology companies — Microsoft, PayPal, Snapchat and Square.

The Case Foundation estimated last year nearly $46 million in donations were processed, up 63 percent from 2013.

#GivingTuesday is not just about money — the movement encourages people to also donate their “time, resources and talents.”

Timms says that if someone is thinking about doing something philanthropic for the first time, they can also do it offline. He said there are also many organizations that are helpful to donors, for they give lots of feedback and assistance with giving.

“Donors Choose, in particular, is an organization that really gives you a direct connection with the people you are helping,” he said.

Looking toward the future of #GivingTuesday, Timms said the giving landscape is changing.

“It’s beginning to get exciting is the way people are using social media in particular to use giving to reaffirm the way they connect to communities,” he said. “One of the things about giving is of course you do something for somebody else, you do something important for yourself too. You move yourself closer to someone in need, you move a step closer to someone who needs your help and I think especially at this time of the year that is something which a lot of people find meaningful.” 

Produced by: Praveen Sathianathan

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