A Day of Global Generosity: The History and Meaning of GivingTuesday

The holidays are about many things—togetherness, generosity, giving. They are also about shopping and saving, so you can give generously to the ones you love—or even treat yourself. We all enjoy a good bargain, right?

After Thanksgiving Thursday, it is Black Friday shopping, Small Business Saturday shopping, and Cyber Monday shopping. It is only fitting that a holiday weekend that starts with gratitude and togetherness comes full circle on Tuesday with an opportunity to give back to our communities.

GivingTuesday is “a day that encourages people to do good,” putting the focus back on the spirit of the season—giving generously to help those in need and change lives for the better.

What is GivingTuesday and When Was It Created?

GivingTuesday first started in 2012 as the idea of Henry Timms at New York City’s 92nd Street Y Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, with support from the United Nations Foundation. The goal was for anyone and any organization anywhere to be able to participate in GivingTuesday with free tips and materials for giving back and then sharing stories and ways of giving by jumping on the #GivingTuesday hashtag. It was word of mouth for the social media age. 

An estimated $10 million was donated to charity through online awareness and GivingTuesday fundraisers in that first year. That figure has grown exponentially every year since. 

Eleven years later, GivingTuesday is “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of radical generosity.” Currently, over 80 countries have a national GivingTuesday. While still a day for doing good and giving to any organization, GivingTuesday is also a nonprofit organization itself, guiding the GivingTuesday movement with “hubs” in Africa, India, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada. and the United States. A distributed leadership network builds GivingTuesdays within local communities, with the organization’s Starling Collective Fellowship supporting and funding grassroots community and nonprofit leaders around the world.  

The Importance of GivingTuesday

Just as Black Friday helps to put retailers “in the black” and kick off what they hope will be a profitable holiday season and, ultimately, fiscal year, GivingTuesday has a similar impact for charitable organizations. It is the kick off to the holiday giving season and can help in the push to reach annual fundraising goals, especially with only one month left in the year. 

GivingTuesday has proven to be a record fundraising day, and the giving only gets bigger every year. As America, and the world, were in the depths of the COVID pandemic the support on GivingTuesday was in the billions of dollars. In 2021, the U.S. total was $2.7 billion, only to be eclipsed by GivingTuesday 2022 with a record $3.1 billion in giving—a 15% increase from 2021. 

As big as these numbers are, especially when you consider how much is raised in one day, GivingTuesday is still just one day. Americans gave an estimated $485 billion to charity in 2021, so as you see, donations on GivingTuesday make up a fraction of the giving and serve as just one piece of the fundraising strategy for most organizations. 

The true importance of GivingTuesday lies in its original intent: to get people thinking about the difference they can make, talking about giving back, sharing ways to give, and bringing people together (in person and online) to put their giving into action. 

As a day for giving but also as a nonprofit organization and larger movement, GivingTuesday is making a global difference by shining a light on the nonprofit organizations and leaders who are creating change in their communities. 

How Can I Help This GivingTuesday?

This year’s GivingTuesday is November 28, 2023. When you give your time, your voice, and your support to ForHearts Worldwide, you will be living out the “global generosity movement” that is GivingTuesday. 

Every year, an estimated 2 – 3 million people die around the world because they cannot afford pacemaker surgery. Our mission is to prevent these deaths and save lives by providing the needed cardiovascular devices, implantation surgeries, and follow-up care to people in developing countries around the world. Every dollar we raise provides this care to save a person’s life.

Since 1984, we have helped to save over 17,000 lives in more than 20 countries, and established dedicated International Heart Centers in six countries: Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, the Philippines, Honduras, and Paraguay.  We are always looking to expand our reach and open new Heart Centers in other countries, who have an underserved population. 

This GivingTuesday, you can be part of the global community that makes it all possible. Give in one tap with our dedicated Giving Tuesday donation portal through Givebutter. See your support go even further with GivingTuesday donation matching opportunities. 

Be sure to follow ForHearts Worldwide on social media as we share more ways you can connect and give in our #GivingTuesday posts. Then, join us on the ForHearts Facebook and Instagram pages all day on November 28 for donation matching opportunities and progress updates on our $10,000 #GivingTuesday fundraising goal.

However you choose to give this GivingTuesday, remember “every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.”

Save the date for GivingTuesday: November 28, 2023!