First conceptualized by the 92nd Street Y and implemented as a day of global charity in 2012, #GivingTuesday has continued its rise in popularity, carving a place alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday as notable days of the holiday season.
And its premise and intent are noble: take a moment during the whirlwind of holiday spending and direct some of those funds toward social causes, not just shopping. The statistics sound equally impressive, with GivingTuesday.org reporting more than $400 million raised by the holiday in 2018 alone, and a total of $1 billion over the movement’s lifespan.
Is there a problem with this? Not exactly. But let’s take a minute to consider where our donation dollars are going. Several years ago, the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that out of the 1.5 million charitable organizations in the United States the top 400 charities — 0.027% — received more than a quarter of all donations. Gifts of all sizes, from small individual contributions to large corporate donations, tend to gravitate toward a relative few organizations at the top.