Around this time of the year, mentions of Giving Tuesday float in the air like the scent of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving. You may find yourself wondering, what and when is this day of generosity? Let’s take a brief walk through history to learn how this holiday started and how you can embody the spirit of Giving Tuesday. To put Giving Tuesday into context we’ll start with a little history on the retail extravaganza following Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday. 

What is Black Friday?

The day after Thanksgiving is officially known as Black Friday, but in recent years the timing of this retail holiday has extended earlier and earlier into the month of November. Today, Black Friday is a term used by retailers to refer to any sales that precede the actual day, sometimes starting weeks prior to Black Friday.

According to an article in Business Insider, the term Black Friday was first documented on September 24, 1869. Two investors caused a large crash in the stock market by driving up the price of gold on the day, thus coining the term Black Friday. 

The term was not associated with retail shopping until the 1950s, when Philadelphia police used it to label the day after Thanksgiving when large crowds of shoppers descended upon the city, as detailed in an article by Newsweek. Most shoppers started associating the term with sales and offers by the 1960s.

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Giving Tuesday, a day of generosity makes a global impact

The first Tuesday following Thanksgiving is known as Giving Tuesday, the internationally recognized day of giving to support charities and causes. This day of giving was created in response to the rise of consumerism driven by Black Friday. 

As reported by Vox, Giving Tuesday was created by the 92nd Street Y in New York and the United Nations Foundations in 2012. These nonprofits had a hunch that people might be more inclined to give following Black Friday sales. #GivingTuesday took off, and the day inspired people to give across the globe. 

Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown into a global phenomenon as nonprofits launched their own campaigns. According to the 2020 report from, 16 million people donated $503 million online last year. Giving grew about 5% from 2019, and donations are predicted to outpace 2020’s numbers. People are feeling great about giving and are continuing to give more each year. 

How can you help during Giving Tuesday?

Participating in Giving Tuesday online is easier than ever. Most nonprofits have Giving Tuesday campaigns, so it’s easy for you to find a worthy cause to champion, and most Giving Tuesday fundraisers are already live, so you don’t have to wait until November 30 to give. 

You can help make an impact with us at Greentrike! Our goal is to give back to the community in a meaningful way as we strive for access and equity. We know even with Pay As You Will admission, our donation-based model, we still are not reaching all families, so we are partnering with other organizations that help families with young children to better share resources.

16 million people donated $503 Million

2020 Impact Report,

This holiday season, will you help us to raise $12,000 to offset the cost of 1,000 visits to our Museums?  Each Month, the Museums serve about 8,000 visitors. Your gift removes barriers and allows the Greentrike to provide safe and enriching environments that help families thrive.

The history of Giving Tuesday is less than a decade old, but the impact, made by people like yourself, numbers in the billions of dollars donated to nonprofits and charitable causes. Giving Tuesday is the perfect time to donate to a cause you believe in. The season of giving is just around the corner, and more people than ever need your support.