You know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday – but are you aware of Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a recent invention – so recent, it is often preceded with a hashtag. It was started in 2012 on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and has been gaining in popularity as a symbol of charity to counteract the excess commercialism of the start of the holiday shopping season.
Will Giving Tuesday catch on? So far, the results are promising. The Giving Tuesday donations in 2013 were up by 73% over the initial event in 2012, and are estimated to have grown even further by nearly 63% in 2014.
Regardless of the effects of Giving Tuesday, charitable giving is making an overall recovery after the hit it took during the Great Recession. Here are a few facts about America's charitable giving last year.
- Total Giving in Dollars – Charity Navigator notes that total gifts to charity in 2013 reached over $335 billion, continuing the trend for four straight years of increased giving with a 4.4% jump. A similar increase would raise 2014 levels over the pre-recession (2007) mark of $349.5 billion.
- Total of Giving Households – According to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), the vast majority of us participate in some sort of charitable giving – a whopping 95.4% of households in 2013. Many of these contributions are small, but the average household contribution is a respectable $2,974.
- People Outgive Corporations – Individual spirit still drives our charity. 72% of our giving ($241.32 billion) came from individuals, with the remainder contributed by foundations, bequests, and corporations (15%, 8% and 5% respectively).
- A Good Year at the Top – The top 400 charities had another successful year according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, with a collective increase in donations of nearly 11%. Charity Navigator attributes much of this increase to wealthier Americans, which would also explain the above statistic about individual giving.
- When Do We Give? –