In 2012, the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundation introduced Giving Tuesday — the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving — with the hope that after several days of big sales and commercial deals, there’d be interest in giving back.
Giving Tuesday took off almost immediately. The 92nd Street Y released the branding and suggestions they’d developed for Giving Tuesday freely, for any nonprofit to use — they wanted to make it an event focused on giving in general, not on one specific cause or charity. “Without the [92nd Street Y] branding, people were more likely to own it and shape it,” Asha Curran, who worked on the first Giving Tuesday for the 92nd Street Y, told Vox. “You can cross borders with a big idea.”
Nonprofits all over the US — and later, all over the world — hosted fundraisers and events, using the branding and hashtag associated with the movement. The nonprofit software and services provider Blackbaud collected advice and resources and processed payments. In its first year, it’s estimated that about $10 million was donated to charity through Giving Tuesday fundraisers. The following year, it was $28 million. In 2018, some 4 million donors moved nearly $380 million. This year, that figure should be even higher.