Asha Curran

  Asha Curran


Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday kick off the holiday shopping season with sales and bargains. #GivingTuesday begins the holiday giving season, refocusing on the importance of giving back. It’s become, through the generosity, creativity and entrepreneurialism of people and organizations, the first global day of giving.

#GivingTuesday was created by 92nd Street Y, a Jewish cultural center in New York City that has brought diverse communities together for the greater good for over 140 years. Launched in 2012 with 2,500 U.S. partners, by 2014 27,000 international partners in 68 countries participated, with traditional and social media messages reaching over a billion people.

The initiative grew out of this question: How do we make our traditional values, particularly, the responsibility we have to make the world a better place, relevant and meaningful for our community and future generations? With half of the global population 30 or younger, this is a critical challenge.

The hashtag in #GivingTuesday is no accident. Social media is today’s shared language, unprecedented for collective impact, and perfect for creating a global conversation to remind us that we are responsible for one another. #GivingTuesday empowers people to think of themselves as philanthropists, whether they are giving time, coats, food, money, or expertise. Everyone can have an impact.

December 3, 2019 [the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving] will be the annual #GivingTuesday. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will celebrate generosity. Anyone can get involved in #GivingTuesday and give in a personally meaningful way. From fundraising to volunteering to pro bono service, #GivingTuesday is a great way to engage your community and to become part of a larger movement promoting generosity. There are many ways to get involved. Here are some ideas for your #GivingTuesday.

Raise Funds

  • Organize a fundraiser and leverage #GivingTuesday to expand your donor base.
  • Launch a campaign on #GivingTuesday to increase donations through the end of the year.
  • Partner with a donor or sponsor for a matching grant challenge for #GivingTuesday: a 24-hour challenge, leading up to #GivingTuesday, or launching on #GivingTuesday and running through December 31.
  • Have donors let others know about their donation.


  • Accept volunteers or organize a larger team volunteer event.
  • Ask professionals to donate hours toward your needs.
  • Organize a donation drive for goods, clothing, and other items.


  • Partner with local organizations or businesses for donations (money, goods, or services).
  • Work with other local organizations for #GivingTuesday. In 2014, over 40 cities and states led #GivingTuesday movements to benefit local nonprofits.
  • Create a #GivingTuesday product for sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with proceeds going to your organization.
  • Have local government officials proclaim December 1, 2015 #GivingTuesday. Make this a big press moment and bring the community together to celebrate generosity.

Get Social

  • Activate your social media constituency to discuss giving.
  • Celebrate community heroes and service leaders on social media and with local press.
  • Email your community to educate them about #GivingTuesday and invite them to give.
  • Share photos from past events to teach your followers about how you serve the community. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
  • Create a #GivingTuesday video to share on YouTube and social media.
  • Brand your personal and organizational social media accounts with #GivingTuesday graphics and be an ambassador for the movement.
  • Partner with sponsors where an amount is donated per re-tweet, like, or post in social media.

#GivingTuesday is a call to action that brings diverse organizations and communities around the world together to give back. When the news coming at us is often not good, this is a reminder for us that despite all that divides us, we are, always have been, and always will be, united by our capacity to give to one another.


Asha Curran, Director, Center for Innovation & Social Impact for New York City’s 92nd Street Y, spearheads projects with national and global reach, including Social Good Summit, #GivingTuesday, NYC Venture Fellows, and 7 Days of Genius festival. Asha is a nonprofit advisor at NYU Stern School of Business, and serves on the Independent Sector C-Suite Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of Scout Film Festival, spotlighting the work of teen filmmakers. She is the recipient of the 2015 Social Capital Hero Award from Social Capital Partners, LLC.

This article is reprinted (with slight modification) from Issue #4 of Nonprofit Performance Magazine. Subscribe today so that you don’t miss other actionable articles that will help you run your nonprofit organization with less pain and more gain!

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