As soon as Thanksgiving arrives so does the holiday shopping season, startng with Black Friday then Cyber Monday. These days are centered around shopping and getting the best deals, but what about a day during the holiday season for giving back?
#GivingTuesday made its debut in 2012 and is headed by the United Nations Foundation. Last year, more than 2,500 partners were involved in fundraising and volunteer initiatives.
This year, Causes.com, which calls itself the world's largest campaigning platform, is marketing campaigns from #GivingTuesday partners on its website.
"Causes.com is about getting involved and making an impact for the greater good," Matt Mahan, CEO of Causes.com, told ABC News. "I personally believe that the holidays should be more than shopping and mass consumerism."
Check out the official #GivingTuesday website to find ways to get involved.
Henry Timms, the executive director of the 92 nd Street Y, a nonprofit cultural and community center in New York City, came up with the idea of #GivingTuesday and brought it to the United Nations Foundation. They partnered together to make this day a reality.
"It's something that is open to everyone. There is no cost barrier. It shows the world and people across the country that humanity can be so much more powerful when they ban together and give back," said Anastasia Dellaccio, outreach and special initiatives leader for the United Nations Foundation.
Initially, the team thought it could get 100 nonprofits and charities signed up to partner for the first year, but it actually gained 2,500 partners. The team credited this to its social media ambassadors, people that join the movement and spread the word.
"We see the dedication from our social media ambassadors and partners alike," said Dellaccio. "There are so many people who have organically found out about it and have dedicated their time and effort to spread it."
This year, the #GivingTuesday team quadrupled its partners to 8,300.
"So many countries have reached out to bring it there. They have been able to adapt the logo and build their own site. The goal is to make it grow global," said Dellaccio.
#GivingTuesday is now in 43 countries. There are 3,000 partners in Latin America. And the White House even showed its support for the cause last week.
"What's important is that we move the needle. It's not just about the money, so many people are volunteering their time," said Dellaccio. "The holidays are all about giving back. We have so many partners, for example, that have gifts that give back. Why not do your shopping and buy a gift from the UNICEF store."
"#GivingTuesday is not a moment, it's a movement," said Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation. "Every action counts, every dollar matters. And the UN Foundation is proud to be a founding partner in #GivingTuesday and help people and organizations give better, give smarter and give more during the holiday season."