Today is #GivingTuesday, Pretty Much the Opposite of Black Friday

December 2nd 2014

Alece Oxendine

There’s a myth going around that millennials are selfish and apathetic about serious political and global issues. Based on the low young voter turnout for the midterm elections (21.3%) this myth has picked up even more steam. However, we are not as apathetic as people might think in donating to crucial causes: last year alone 87% of millennials donated money to nonprofit organizations. Today, December 2, 2014, is #GivingTuesday. Founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday is an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, celebrating the act of giving rather than spending. With the motivation to make doing good work go viral, #GivingTuesday is designed to encourage even the apathetic outliers in our generation to get involved.


#GivingTuesday encourages donations and for us to spread the word via social media through easy-to-use tools (meme-able images, other hashtags to use, etc.) Though our unemployment rates are still high and many are saddled with student loan debt, we are a generation that still votes with our (all too often thin) wallets. A full 83% of millennials trust socially responsible companies, and 74% are more likely to pay attention to a company’s message because of its deep cause commitment. According to a variety of social scientists, our generation is a largely selfless one, seeking fulfillment over profit as well. #GivingTuesday is a natural progression of the way our generation approaches making a difference.

Of course, it's critical we vote too, but the delayed gratification from voting is often less attractive then the immediate satisfaction of giving. If you want to know why you should vote in addition to give, however, read this list. But in the spirit of giving today, perhaps you can combine the two: donate to youth voter empowerment by supporting our friends at

Giving Tuesday