November 26, 2018
Over the holiday weekend, my son and I talked off and on about #GivingTuesday. He and his co-workers who work for a nonprofit camp to help kids whose parents have cancer are hoping to garner significant financial support on #GivingTuesday, as are thousands of other charitable organizations around the world.
#GivingTuesday is a global event that occurs on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The event was created by staff members of the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y. Their vision was to “connect diverse groups of people, organizations, and communities together for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.” Since its inception, #GivingTuesday occurs in more than 150 countries, more than 2.5 million gifts totaling over $300 million dollars (which translates to $12.5 million per hour) were raised last year.
How does #GivingTuesday work? Nonprofits raise money through their social media channels, either raising money directly on social media platforms such as Facebook, or directing traffic to their own websites where people can make a donation. Last year there were 21.7 billion social media impressions.
This is an incredible phenomenon that speaks to the good of social media. According to DataKind who compiled a report on the 2017 #GivingTuesday, there are giving trends for #GivingTuesday. Education typically received 40% of the donations received on this day, but other causes see a significant impact as well: disaster relief, women and girls, and children. Arts and culture, however, saw the biggest increase in 2017, “some receiving nearly 20% of their annual donations from this single day.”
However, DataKind points out, “While #GivingTuesday’s reach has grown significantly over the past five years, philanthropic giving in the U.S. still has not risen above 2% GDP.” They go on to point out, that by increasing giving to 3% GDP, “the impact would be massive – almost $4 billion of additional funding for causes addressing tough social issues from poverty to healthcare to education to more.”
The number of nonprofit organizations is on the rise because there are more people in need. If you have never participated in #GivingTuesday, please consider doing so this year by following the #GivingTuesday on Twitter to see the thousands of different options. Watch on Facebook and other social media platforms for posts with the #GivingTuesday designation. You can also go straight to a charitable organization of your choice.
Another thing to consider, by participating tomorrow, your dollar may double. There are many organizations matching donations given during the 24-hour #GivingTuesday period. This means if you donate $50, your gift instantly becomes $100.
Besides all of that, the real reason to give on #GivingTuesday is help fund charitable organizations whose mission is to eradicate hunger, poverty, education inequity, racism, animal cruelty, and disease. It is also about providing access to healthcare, as well as the arts. It's about ensuring human rights and encouraging people to vote. And it’s about empowerment, workforce readiness, and retraining. Choose a cause, or causes (there are so many) that are near and dear to your heart, and find a corresponding charity. If you are not familiar with the organizations that surface, use Charity Navigator to learn more about them. Many of the nonprofits are rated, which should help you make a decision. However, not all charitable organizations, especially small ones will be rated, and this should not necessarily stop you from making a contribution.
There are 24 hours in #GivingTuesday. I hope you can find a few minutes to make a difference!
Anne Converse Willkomm
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department Head of Graduate Studies
DataKind #GivingTuesday Insight Report 2017