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What is Giving Tuesday and Why Should You Participate

If you volunteer or work at a nonprofit organization, anyone who does, or spend any time on social media, you may have heard of Giving Tuesday. But if you’re new to the space, you may not know exactly what it is is or how you can make the most of it.  

Today, we are answering your questions about Giving Tuesday and offering some suggestion for how you can easily get involved and invite your community to unleash generosity on Giving Tuesday and all year. In 2020, #GivingTuesday was responsible for over $503 million dollars raised online – we want you to make sure your organization isn’t missing out on any of that in 2021! 

What is Giving Tuesday?

A day to celebrate global, collective generosity. A day to do good.  

When is Giving Tuesday?

November 30, 2021 (annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving) 

Who Participates?

All 501c3 organizations can participate. You do not need to register with any official organization, but you can find more information about the movement on the Giving Tuesday website 

To make the most of Giving Tuesday, be sure to invite everyone to participate. The whole idea behind Giving Tuesday is that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. And when we do it together, the impact is multiplied.  

Why Should You Join in Giving Tuesday?

In 2012, New York City’s 92nd Street Y and its Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact decided to encourage a day of giving to follow Thanksgiving Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday. They created a hashtag, invited publicity, and changed the world. 

Since that first year, Giving Tuesday has grown to become a global movement, with thousands of organizations participating and millions of dollars raised to DO GOOD.  

What is Giving Tuesday and Why You Should Participate

Where Does it Occur?


Giving Tuesday began as a social media promotion by a small group of nonprofit organizations encouraging everyone to do good. Today, with technological advancements and increased awareness, Giving Tuesday has crossed channels.  

Organizations across the globe conduct social media campaigns, send email appeals, hold phon-a-thons, and host in person events of various shapes and sizes to celebrate good and, hopefully for some, raise funds. Interested in planning some Giving Tuesday outreach? Download Network for Good’s Giving Tuesday Checklist

How Can I Get Involved?

Let yourself dream big and think outside the box about Giving Tuesday. It doesn’t have to be all about raising money. You certainly CAN raise money – but don’t forget you can do good and celebrate generosity in many ways:

  • Celebrate the generosity of your donors and volunteers. Gift them with a small token of appreciation. Develop a theme to shine the spotlight on the generosity of time, talent, and treasure that happens year-round.  
  • Encourage your community to engage in random and radical acts of kindness.  
  • If you have a physical site, and you can do so safely, host an Open House for the community to learn more about the good work being done within your walls.  
  • Go Live on social media to give your community an insiders view into the great work being done by your organization.  
  • Create a peer-to-peer campaign to expand your reach to new potential donors. Ask your board members, staff, volunteers and program participants to share your social media posts, email blasts, and videos with their networks of family and friends. 
  • Ask an individual or group of committed supporters to offer a challenge to your community by matching the dollars you raise on Giving Tuesday. For example, if $10,000 is raised, they’ll match it dollar for dollar. This match encourages others because they know their impact will be doubled. 
  • Engage a group of staff and/or volunteers to make thank you phone calls or videos throughout the day so that donors are appreciated within hours of making a donation. 

Giving Tuesday doesn’t need to be another stressful milestone in your busy year-end campaigns. But getting involved allows you to join other nonprofits in spreading the word about your work as well as getting you started for a strong final month of giving! 

Published: October 26, 2021