Why #GivingTuesday Works



At the Ad Council we encounter stories of people who work to inspire change and improve lives every day. We hear of people who volunteer at food pantries through Feeding America, people who volunteer their time through United Way, and those who donate their used goods to Goodwill Industries®. We know firsthand that there is a world of people out there who want to give back. Sometimes, they just have to be asked.

For many, #GivingTuesday has offered that opportunity. In just one year since it began, Giving Tuesday has become a powerful new force in the world of charitable giving—a way to create a concentrated national dialogue around the idea of public service. #GivingTuesday allows people and organizations of all stripes to work together to make a difference. The movement has seized on a simple but powerful idea: that the American people want to do more this Thanksgiving than eat turkey with their families, and celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They also want to do something that improves the lives of others and improves their communities during the holiday season and beyond.

#GivingTuesday has been so powerful, in part, because it responds to the changing media landscape—encouraging partners to harness the power of digital media to perform their outreach. The movement spread like wildfire through social networks and emails last year. And this year, through social media efforts like the #Unselfie #Selfie, it will go even further.


In 2012, #GivingTuesday attracted a staggering 2,500 corporate and nonprofit partners. Since then, that number has doubled to more than 5,400 (and counting). The movement has achieved widespread recognition across America, with partners in all 50 states. The idea has also proven to be adaptable on both a local and global scale. Six other countries have developed their own #GivingTuesday movements, as have various U.S. cities (Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc.).

We should all do our part. Take a look at some of the terrific online resources offered by #GivingTuesday. You can also support several of the Ad Council’s campaign partners in their #GivingTuesday efforts:

  • Visit Goodwill’s store locator tool, which can help you find the nearest donation center and support job training programs in your local area. Goodwill Industries International also plans to mobilize its member network to join and grow participation in this year’s #GivingTuesday. The organization provided training and promotional resources to its members as well as strengthened its online giving efforts and calls to action to “give” on #GivingTuesday.
  • Use Keep America Beautiful’s recycling center locator, which can help you give your garbage another life.
  • Get involved at your local food bank. Feeding America offers this database of food banks across the nation. If you make a financial contribution to Feeding America on #GivingTuesday, Unilever has pledged to match all donations. Feeding America has also developed a special toolkit to help member food banks to participate in #GivingTuesday.
  • Try AARP’s Volunteer Wizard to figure out what kind of volunteer opportunities are right for you.

Last week the Ad Council also began a new campaign with the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in response to the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. An estimated 11 million people have been affected by the disaster, and over 5,000 have lost their lives. We’re encouraging all Americans to make financial contributions to disaster relief efforts. On GivingTuesday, consider visiting PhilippinesRelief.AdCouncil.org to support people who are still very much in need of humanitarian assistance.

We’re looking forward to seeing all of the inspiring and innovative ways that social good organizations inspire people to give this year. Hats off to the 92Y—the brains behind this outstanding movement. We are thrilled to support your efforts and to continue to help you grow.

Peggy Conlon

About Peggy Conlon

Peggy is President and CEO of the Ad Council. During the past 10 years, she has championed the organization’s important mission among various non-profit organizations and government agencies to use the power of PSAs to improve some of the nation’s most pressing issues.

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