$168 Million in Charitable Donations Worldwide for #GivingTuesday

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Volunteers pledged thousands of hours to assist their neighbors and those in need.

From cash for classrooms to socks for the homeless, #GivingTuesday broke a record in 2016 as consumers turned their attention to helping others following the shopping frenzy of the Thanksgiving weekend.

#GivingTuesday, launched in 2012, is the brainchild of New York City’s 92nd Street Y, which, along with the United Nations Foundation, designated the 24-hour period as a time for consumers to encourage each other through social media to donate their time, talents or cash to a cause or organization.

In 2016, more countries joined the effort than ever before, with people in 98 nations making 1.6 million contributions, and the average gift adding up to $108.

While 33% of yearly donations happen between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31, philanthropy by American consumers occurs year-round. Among households that donate to charity, one in four focus their contributions on political causes, according to marketing data and analytics company Acxiom. Organizations or institutions focused on health, religion, children or environmental wildlife round out the top five.

And while households that on average earn $136,562 a year donate the largest amount to charity, Acxiom found that it was the lowest-earning households that gave away the largest chunk of their incomes. Those with an average yearly income of $17,500 gave a typical donation of $686 — 4% of their earnings. That’s compared with the $1,700 on average given by the most affluent households, which equaled 1% of their incomes.

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