Despite the ongoing pandemic, it appears the spirit of the holidays is alive and well based on the success of 2021 Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30). While retail numbers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday were down, Americans’ desire to give to social justice causes, community programs, environmental groups and countless other groups dedicated to doing good continues to grow.
Haleluya Hadero of the Associated Press reported that based on data from event organizers, “Donations on Giving Tuesday, the annual campaign that encourages generosity on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, rose by 9% this year, totaling $2.7 billion in the United States alone.”
According to Hadero, “the donations topped last year’s record, when American donors gave nearly $2.5 billion in the aftermath of the racial justice protests and amid growing needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The Giving Tuesday organization promoting the day of charity has estimated that more than 35 million U.S. adults participated in the event this year by either giving money, volunteering or donating goods. In addition to record monetary donations, the group said volunteering increased by 11% over last year, and contributions of gifts, food and other items increased by 8%.
Asha Curran, the CEO of the Giving Tuesday organization, said in a statement, “giving is an important metric of civic participation, a way to build the kind of society we want to live in. Our hope is that this boost of generosity is an inspiration for continued giving, kindness and recognition of our shared humanity each day of the year.”
Curran said she founded Giving Tuesday a decade ago to encourage people to donate a chunk of the money they typically spent on holiday shopping to charity instead. Over the course of 2020, an estimated $471 billion was donated to charitable causes across the country.