Americans donate millions to charities on Giving Tuesday

At the start of the holiday season, U.S. companies and private citizens are moved by the spirit of giving to help people in their communities and abroad.

The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as Giving Tuesday, an annual tradition that began in 2012. For 24 hours, private citizens and companies make online donations to charities, ranging from local chapters of the American Red Cross to small community food banks.

Since it began, the event has spurred over $1 billion in online donations to charities within the U.S. alone.

But beyond monetary giving, companies and citizens also donate and volunteer closer to home. Last year, the H&M clothing retailer and its employees handed out approximately 650 H&M coats to children in the South Bronx and Harlem neighborhoods of New York City.

The spirit of generosity extends beyond the holiday season and continues to grow in the U.S. According to Giving USA’s annual report on philanthropy, private U.S. corporations donated over $20 billion to charities in 2018, which was a 5.4 percent increase from the previous year.

Through private giving — both by citizens and corporations — the U.S. is better able to help people in need by funding social welfare initiatives.

“These results highlight the importance of institutions to the philanthropic landscape,” said Rachel Hutchisson, chair of The Giving Institute, in the report. “And serve as a reminder that different types of approaches to philanthropy are vital for strengthening and expanding the field.”