Dec. 1, designated as #GivingTuesday, brings a global day dedicated to the common purposes of giving back to community needs and celebrating a tradition of generosity. Now in its fourth year, GivingTuesday is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States and to counter the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday kicks off the annual charitable season.
Since its inaugural year in 2012, GivingTuesday has become a global movement that unites countries around the world by sharing humans' capacity to care for and empower one another. The day's founders indicate on their website the observation provides a platform for participants to encourage the donation of time, resources, and talents to address local challenges. "It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners - nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses, and corporations, as well as families and individuals - to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness."
Created by 92nd Street Y, a cultural center in New York City that since 1874 has rallied people around the values of service and giving back, GivingTuesday team members continue to shape, grow and strengthen the movement. The event's website states the group now has more than 30,000 partners in 68 countries.
The site also indicates online donations have increased by 470 percent since the first GivingTuesday event in 2012.
While there are many avenues for participating in GivingTuesday, both in the United States and globally, one Christian group offers the opportunity of doubling the impact to "activate love, transform lives and change the world" through the annual event. The United Methodist Church caretakers vow all money donated on Dec. 1 is applied toward a diverse set of global missionaries or disaster recovery projects managed through The United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR), and donors can choose where their donations will go.
Financial gifts made online on this first day of December will be matched by United Methodist funds, up to $1 million. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
More than 800 missionary projects that can be supported by this Methodist initiative fall under the categories of hunger, agriculture, poverty, education, water and sanitation, women and children, social justice, diseases and viruses, health, transportation, construction, small business development or church development.
Another company that promises to double the impact of this year's Giving day is Thirty-One Gifts. Thirty-One managers stated in a news release that the company will match every donation to World Vision on Dec. 1 with a donation of one of their products, such as a warm blanket or a tote bag, to a family in need around the world, up to $1 million in products. "We're a company with a mission to empower and support women and families," said Thirty-One Gifts President, Founder and CEO Cindy Monroe. "This partnership is a great opportunity to share our hearts and mission to give women the opportunity for a better life, to impact families in need, and further the reach of World Vision."
One popular health-related cause during GivingTuesday is the American Cancer Society. Donors this year can customize their Facebook profile or cover photos to show support and share why they have given.
Donations to the humanitarian organization, CARE, also will be doubled to fight poverty and hunger around the world. CARE's board of directors extended the offer to match contributions dollar for dollar, up to $1 million, through Dec. 31.