News / Canada

Introducing Giving Tuesday, a day devoted to philanthropy

In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, yet another popular U.S. initiative has crossed the border.

After a weekend of door crashers and tempting deals, Canadians will see the launch of its non-commercial counterpart, Giving Tuesday, a day devoted to philanthropy and described by the site as the “Opening day of the giving season.”

The U.S. initiative, created by New York’s 92nd Street Y and supported by the United Nations Foundation, has already seen immense success, attracting over 2,500 partners to take part in its first year. Now a group of Canadian organizations are hoping to build on that momentum.

CanadaHelps president and CEO Marina Glogovac, one of the 15 founding partners of Canada’s Giving Tuesday, said the timing of the event was perfect.

“There are different months in Canada focused on different charitable sectors,” said Glogovac. “But in terms of consumer awareness, I think it’s a good day to kind of add something that says we shop, we get deals, we spend money to get what we want, and we also should remember that we should give back.”

“I love the idea here because I think it’s very appropriate to remind people that we’re all connected and we should celebrate giving,” Glogovac adds.

Mainly promoted through social media over the summer, the grassroots movement has taken on a life of its own. So far, over 1,000 charities, partners and organizations have already signed on to participate in its first year.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “This is a movement, there is nobody controlling this, there is no budget, and this is really how it spread in the States.”

On Dec. 3, many Giving Tuesday partners will be hosting events and donation drives to raise money for various charities.

November and December are known as the peak season for donations, with roughly 50 per cent of all donations of the year made during that period, said Glogovac. Whether it’s for cultural or spiritual reasons, and sometimes even practical due to the year-end tax deadline, she’s hoping the day will become a long-standing tradition among Canadians.

“Nobody signed up retailers for Black Friday,” she said. “We hope one day it will be as natural for people and retailers and businesses to really think of Giving Tuesday.”

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