How to Make a Difference on Giving Tuesday

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Turns out there's more to kicking off the holidays than finding a great deal. It's that time of the year when the spirit of giving takes center stage. Today is Giving Tuesday, and it's your chance to make a meaningful impact on the causes you care about during this season of giving.

Multi-ethnic group of people, diverse people volunteers packing donation boxes in charity food bank.

Image: South_agency, iStock

A date with purpose

Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday on social media) is an annual event that follows Thanksgiving, always occurring on the Tuesday immediately after the holiday. Thanksgiving typically falls on the fourth Thursday of November, making Giving Tuesday either the last Tuesday of November or the first Tuesday of December each year. This year, it falls on November 28, providing ample time to plan your charitable contributions.

The history of Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday has a relatively short but impactful history. It was founded in 2012 by New York's 92nd Street YMCA in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation. The day was conceived to encourage people worldwide to do good, give back to their communities, and support charitable organizations. In July 2019, Giving Tuesday became an independent organization led by Asha Curran, one of its co-founders, who assumed the CEO role.

Why nonprofits embrace Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday has become a beacon of hope for nonprofit organizations seeking to amplify their reach and impact. Amidst a crowded calendar of awareness days, dedicated days for individual causes, and ongoing national and international crises, it's often challenging for nonprofits to capture the attention of a broader audience.

However, Giving Tuesday offers a unique window of opportunity. Many people are now familiar with the event and some even allocate funds specifically for this day. This charitable event gives nonprofits the perfect chance to showcase their missions, request donations, and attract new supporters. Participating in Giving Tuesday is a smart strategy for organizations looking to boost their visibility and leverage a day of giving.

Nonprofits with varying resources can participate in different ways, from sharing a single social media post to sending out email newsletters. Every act of participation counts and contributes to the day's collective impact.

How can you get involved?

You don't need to be a nonprofit organization to participate in Giving Tuesday. As the saying goes, "everyone has something to give." Whether it's a simple act of kindness, helping a neighbor, or supporting a cause close to your heart, you can make a difference. Giving back can take many forms, and every small gesture can create a ripple effect of positivity.

To get started, identify your unique gifts and talents, select a cause that ignites your passion, and take action. Giving Tuesday is when individuals, communities, and organizations unite to transform society, building the world we all want to live in.

If you're looking for a charity to support on Giving Tuesday, tools like Charity Navigator can help you find and evaluate organizations that align with your values and priorities. Being an informed and impactful donor ensures that your contributions make a meaningful difference.

As Giving Tuesday 2023 approaches, it's time to prepare for a day of giving, kindness, and generosity. Whether you choose to support a nonprofit, lend a helping hand to your community, or make a small act of kindness, your participation matters. Together, we can turn these acts into a wave of good, shaping a better world for all.

Rebecca Edwards
Written by
Rebecca Edwards
Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past decade. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month poring over crime and safety reports and spotting trends. Her expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her expert advice and analysis in places like NPR, TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, HGTV, MSN, Reader's Digest, Real Simple, and an ever-growing library of podcast, radio and TV clips in the US and abroad.

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