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The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, known as “Giving Tuesday,” is an unofficial start to year-end charitable contributions. Ahead of the day, Whole Whale, a consultancy focused on nonprofits and for-benefit companies, forecast that charities would raise a total of $363 million this Giving Tuesday.

  • In 2017, 2.5 million charitable gifts worth $300 million were donated online: this year $363 million was projected by Whole Whale.
  • The Giving Tuesday movement had people from 150 countries participate in 2017, with 42 countries home to official, independently led Giving Tuesday movements.
  • Almost half of those 65 years and older plan to donate financially this holiday season and more than a quarter of young millennials will donate financially. 

Celebrated on the Tuesday following US Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season. Since launch in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a global movement that promotes giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

Social Media Hashtag Driving More Charitable Giving Than Ever

Giving Tuesday uses social media to tap into the generosity of people around the world.  Partnering across nonprofits, businesses, civic organizations and individuals, Giving Tuesday enables communities to address local challenges by providing a platform and encouraging contributions of resources, talent and time. 

The #GivingTuesday hashtag was created in 2012, when the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (the 92nd Street Y), a New York City nonprofit cultural center, started a social media movement to encourage shoppers to donate time, money or gifts to charity once the holiday shopping weekend was over. According to Giving USA, Americans are more charitable than ever, and gave a record $410 billion to charitable endeavors in 2017.

Following 2017’s 78% increase in Giving Tuesday’s receipts, Whole Whale projected a 21% increase to $363 million in 2018. The average gift in 2017 was $120. The Giving Tuesday movement saw people from 150 countries participate in 2017, with 42 countries home to official, independently led Giving Tuesday movements.

Fewer Individuals Plan on Charitable Giving This Year

According to the NRF/Prosper Insights and Analytics survey conducted October 29–November 7, the percentage of US survey respondents that don’t plan any charitable giving rose 270 basis points (bps) to 30%, in tandem with a 210bps drop in those planning to donate financially to a cause or charity.  

Almost half of those 65 years and older and more than a quarter of young millennials plan to donate financially. While a small proportion of those ages 18–24 plan to give financially, they are the age group most likely to volunteer and focus giving on brands and retailers that donate to social causes.

Retailers Getting Charitable

Many retailers extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday through Giving Tuesday and beyond. Many will participate in charitable activities.

Amazon is celebrating Giving Tuesday with its launch of donate Toys for Tots via Alexa by letting uses simply say “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots.” Amazon will match customer donations through the end of the year, toy for toy.

UK Apparel Brand L.K. Bennett is participating in Giving Tuesday by offering 10% of its collection and donating 10% of sales proceeds to its charity partner, Women for Women International—UK, until Wednesday November 28.

American Eagle and aerie are partnering with Delivering Good and beginning on Giving Tuesday through December 6, will donate a winter hat to someone in need for every winter accessory purchased in stores or online.

Macy’s Herald Square is celebrating Giving Tuesday by collaborating with socially-inspired business To The Market, which empowers vulnerable communities through artisan enterprise. Macy’s and To The Market will be selling a selection of products from around the world from 10am to 10pm on November 29 at Macy’s flagship.

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