GivingTuesday raised a record $3.1 billion for charitable causes early last week.
The global event, which began as a trending hashtag, celebrated its 10th anniversary on November 29, GivingTuesday CEO Asha Curran said.
The annual tradition of designated giving began in 2012 following two major U.S. events of consumerism and consumption: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. GivingTuesday began as a way to honor the value of generosity, Curran said.
“In the very beginning, we acknowledged there are two days that are tremendously powerful for the retail sector and for-profit businesses,” said Curran.
Curran added that countries that do not participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday still participate in GivingTuesday.
Despite the challenging economic year many families have undergone, with nationwide inflation in the prices of basic goods, gas, and housing, people were nevertheless willing to give, said Curran.
“That’s really what we saw yesterday,” she said the day after the event. “That whatever it is that people are experiencing, they were as generous as they had the capacity to be.”
The organization estimated that donations increased by approximately 15% since 2021′s $2.7 billion, far outpacing the 7.7% inflation rate for the 12 months ending in October. Donations were counted through several different data sources, including major community foundations, companies that offer fundraising software, the payment processor PayPal, and large grantmakers like Fidelity Charitable and Vanguard Charitable.
On Tuesday, Fidelity Charitable said that for the first time since 2018, the value of grants from its donor-advised funds exceeds the value of investments going into the funds.
The organization stated that 2023’s totals marked the largest amount donated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving since the group began tracking it.
GivingTuesday, which is often stylized as #GivingTuesday for the purposes of hashtag activism, began to promote fundraising on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day in 2012. The event was a project of the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The organization GivingTuesday became an independent nonprofit in June 2019.
Participants in the event still show outstanding generosity, Curran said. “They give in a multitude of ways. It does not always have to do with money. It often has to do with [the] community. It is very collective. It has a lot to do with people feeling like they are a fractal of a larger whole,” Curran said.