Giving Tuesday: The Black Friday of Non-Profits


  1. What is Giving Tuesday
  2. When is Giving Tuesday
  3. Why Non-Profits Participate
  4. History of Giving Tuesday
  5. Bottom Line

What is Giving Tuesday:

According to Forbes, it is expected that, on average, a household in the United States will spend around $833 on holiday-related purchases. This may not sound like a lot, but if you think about how many households there are in the United States, we are actually talking about over one hundred billion dollars spent on holiday-related purchases. That’s roughly 0.4% of all the money spent annually in the entire United States! Now imagine how much of a difference we could make in the lives of those that are less fortunate if we could give just a small percentage of that to charity. As you’ll see at the end of this article (in the Bottom Line section), there is a way for us to do just that without breaking the bank or adding any extra costs for those donating.

This is what Giving Tuesday is all about. It is a global movement based on generosity and giving. During this day, instead of focusing on what we can get during the holiday season as we do on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we have the chance to give back in whatever way we can. No, we don’t need to spend an extra $833 to feel like we are making a difference. There are many different ways to give or donate. Some people give their time, some make donations, and others use their voices to raise awareness of Giving Tuesday or even the charity, nonprofit, or cause they love. How you give can also change depending on how your preferred charity or organization can accept that generosity. Some charities can accept volunteers, and some can’t. Some organizations can accept clothes and toys, while others need cash donations. Ultimately, every donor and every recipient is different and will participate in whatever way fits best. Last year alone, Giving Tuesday was responsible for raising a record 2.7 billion dollars for non-profits in the United States alone.

When is Giving Tuesday:

Giving Tuesday this year, in 2022, will be on Tuesday, November 29th. The actual date of Giving Tuesday changes from year to year, but it always falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, hence the name Giving Tuesday. Simple right? That was the founders’ goal, at least.

Because Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, Giving Tuesday will always fall on the last Tuesday of November or the first Tuesday of December. In 2023, Giving Tuesday will be on November 28th. In 2024 it will be on December 3rd. And in 2025, Giving Tuesday will be on December 2nd.

Why Non-Profits Participate:

Giving Tuesday is a global movement intended to unleash the power of global generosity around the world. It has taken off and grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Giving Tuesday has become a great opportunity for nonprofits to take advantage and really use this day towards their organizations. Giving Tuesday has been built by various communities, including individuals, families, nonprofits, schools, religious organizations, small businesses, and corporations. Everyone is invited and encouraged to join in. There is no cost to participating; it’s free and open to everyone. If you are an individual who wants to give back, there are so many options to do so. Give your voice to a cause that matters to you, like a nonprofit. Discover a local fundraiser, community drive, or coordinated event to join others in your area. You could even coordinate your own event in the community to help reach those in need. Some may choose to give a financial contribution to their favorite cause or a fundraising drive, while others decide to reach out to neighbors, start an advocacy campaign, donate goods or extra supplies, and share gratitude to frontline workers. If you can show generosity and share kindness, you have something to give! All fundraising activities and the funds raised on Giving Tuesday are directed by each participating non-profit organization and processed by the giving platform of their choice. All money raised on Giving Tuesday goes immediately to the nonprofit or community organization that solicited the funds. Giving Tuesday itself does not collect any fees. This is why it’s so important for non-profits to participate in this global day of giving.

History of Giving Tuesday:

Giving Tuesday was created over ten years ago and grew in 2012. The idea came during the season of craziness that surrounds Thanksgiving in the United States of America, which is supposed to be a holiday for being thankful, giving, sharing with others, and celebrating the prosperity we enjoy. But, in our modern era, we have lost many of those feelings and themes due to how for-profit companies have created “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” The very next day after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November), is Black Friday. This is a day that millions of companies offer discounted products and run promotions to get back to “the black,” which means profitability and not losing money in business lingo. Then, a while later, Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving) came along because of the incredible advancements of digital marketplaces and eCommerce and took over that Monday every year for more sales.

Giving Tuesday originally started as an independent non-profit organization that was dedicated to sharing its message with the world and bringing back the “giving” part of the Thanksgiving holiday. Now, it is a global movement that promotes that brings back the giving feelings to this special holiday weekend. There are individual, community, and national ways to give back and to be involved with Giving Tuesday. Individually, you can donate books, toys, food, or even just your time to an organization (local or national) that can help create that change. In the community, you can do your part by just talking about it, face to face and online, to your friends, family, neighbors, and networks. Check out their website for ideas on participating at every level ( The organization is hosted in over 80 countries worldwide and involves an incredible number of leaders that work to create change and promote generosity and giving to a larger number of people.

Since its inception, Giving Tuesday has officially generated over $1.9 billion for nonprofits worldwide and over $500 million just from online donations. This money and organization thrive on the phrase “radical generosity.” But what does that even mean? Radical generosity is the embodiment of realizing that each of us can be a catalyst for incredible amounts of change and positivity. It means that we invite others to follow us in being generous enough to give what we can to those in need. Here at IDFAPA (Idaho Foster and Adoptive Parents Association), we have been participating in Giving Tuesday for the last couple of years as we strive to live our mission of “[facilitating] and [improving] care for foster and adoptive children and their families in the state of Idaho.” To do this better, we have been working to build up awareness of this relatively new and inspiring holiday to bring back the joy of giving and to help as many foster and adoptive children and families as we can, especially during this great season of giving on Giving Tuesday and for the Christmas season!

Bottom Line:

Giving Tuesday is a holiday that promotes the giving feeling that should still be prevalent during the Thanksgiving (in the United States) season and during the kickoff of the Christmas season. But Giving Tuesday is so much more than just an organization that promotes these wonderful things. It is now a movement that touches all parts of the world! It is something each and every one of us can get behind and support to bring that radical generosity back into the lives of everyone that can benefit from a little help.

This movement is also an integral part of helping so many nonprofit organizations, like IDFAPA, stay afloat and capable of making the difference they do in all the lives they touch. At IDFAPA specifically, we LOVE to get donations of clothes, school supplies, money, etc., but we know that it is not realistic for you to give everything you have all the time. Because of that, we have partnered with Amazon Smile to create a better way for the average person to give and donate without burdening them or making them change their typical habits. Amazon Smile is an incredibly simple program where you sign in (on mobile or desktop) on, select your charity, which we hope would be IDFAPA, and then shop like normal on Amazon. While you shop like normal, Amazon donates 0.5% of your total (from eligible products) to the charity you selected! Every six months, Amazon will prompt you to confirm or reselect your charity. That’s it! No tricks, no gimmicks, and no more worrying about how you can do more to donate.

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