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NEW YORK — Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have seen slight declines this year, but GivingTuesday generated a new record for giving.
Donations on GivingTuesday, the annual campaign that encourages generosity on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, rose by 9% this year, totaling $2.7 billion in the United States alone, according to organizers.
The donations top last year's record, when American donors gave nearly $2.5 billion in the aftermath of the racial justice protests and amid growing needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Another $503 million was raised on GivingTuesdayNow, a special giving day held in May 2020 to raise funds for pandemic needs.
The GivingTuesday organization, which promotes the giving day, said 35 million U.S. adults participated this Tuesday through various forms of generosity — including volunteering, or donating goods — as the campaign marked its 10th year. Volunteering levels rose by 11% compared to last year, organizers said, while gifts of food and other items saw an 8% increase.
"Giving is an important metric of civic participation, a way to build the kind of society we want to live in," Asha Curran, the CEO of the GivingTuesday organization, said in a statement. "Our hope is that this boost of generosity is an inspiration for continued giving, kindness, and recognition of our shared humanity each day of the year."
The giving campaign was launched in 2012 as a way to get people to donate to charity as they spent money on the holiday shopping season.
Donations made during the campaign have increased throughout the years, but it still represents a very small slice of overall giving in the U.S., which, in 2020, was estimated at $471 billion.