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Tenth Annual Giving Tuesday Event on November 30 Inspires Generosity

With the holiday gift shopping season in full swing, Americans are filling their carts with gifts for family and friends—but many are also carving space in their budgets for charities and other not-for-profit organizations on November 30 for Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and this year marks the 10th annual event meant to “unleash the power of radical generosity around the world.”

Millions will join the effort and follow John Bunyan’s advice: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”

The movement began in 2012 at the 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for International and Social Impact. The undertaking rapidly expanded and now encompasses national efforts in 80 countries around the world.

Despite the pandemic in 2020, donors gave a record $2.47 billion on Giving Tuesday in the United States alone. Participants can donate money or time. The movement’s leaders estimate that 13% of the U.S. adult population participated in some way last year.

A special Giving Tuesday Now was also held in May 2020 as an emergency response to COVID-19, and it raised $503 million in the United States alone.

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Giving Tuesday Data Commons, which “explores giving behaviors and patterns,” released a report earlier this year exploring the tumultuous giving patterns of 2020. It predicted that in 2021, there will be a return to pre-pandemic giving levels and that smaller organizations will see a rebound in fundraising.

According to Fundraising Effectiveness Project, giving through the second quarter of 2021 showed a slight increase from last year in the number of donors and in the amount donated.

Giving Tuesday benefits large and small charities alike, with over 300 community campaigns around the United States that promote generous giving on the designated day.

For instance, Life Centers, which operates six pregnancy resource centers in the Indianapolis area, is asking for donations on Giving Tuesday. “To put it simply, we cannot operate six pregnancy resource centers and care for the thousands of women and children who come to us annually for help, compassion, and guidance without you- our donors,” its website states.

There is no registration for charities to participate in Giving Tuesday, and all donations are given directly to the charity that is raising funds.

Similar smaller efforts take place on different days. For instance, North Texas Giving Day began in 2009 and takes place in September. In 2021, it raised a record $66 million benefitting over 3,300 local nonprofit organizations.

Colorado Gives Day was initiated in 2007 by Community First Foundation. This year it will be on Tuesday, December 7. In 2020, it raised more than $50 million, according to its website.

Giving USA has studied giving patterns since 1956. Its recent report says total charitable donations rose by 5% last year to $471.4 billion. However, donations to religious groups only grew by 1%.

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a freelance writer who holds a Juris Doctorate from Baylor University. She has home schooled her three children and is happily married to her husband of 25 years. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and coaching high school extemporaneous speaking and debate.