#GivingTuesday Set To Launch In Israel

Twitter fundraising phenomena #GivingTuesday will make its way to Israel tomorrow, bringing the online day of giving to another part of the world.

Having recently completed its second year in the United States, the event popularly known as #GivingTuesday on Twitter built upon it successful debut by soliciting $27 million in donations in 2013, up from the $12 million in 2012. Approximately 8,300 partners participated in the event, 7,000 of which were nonprofits. Due to this success, IsraelGives, the main website for charitable giving in Israel, decided to bring the social media event to the Middle East.

Henry Timms, creator of #GivingTuesday and executive director at the 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City, said he is excited to see Israel become a part of the movement. “It has been inspiring to see an idea that took root in one of 92Y’s core values — repairing the world — resonate so broadly with people, organizations, and business entities who have taken it upon themselves to create innovative ways to inspire and facilitate giving,” he said.

92Y, which is a Jewish community and cultural center not affiliated with the YMCA of the USA, first approached IsraelGives about adopting #GivingTuesday last summer, according to Jonathan Ben-Dror, the organization’s director.

While #GivingTuesday was held on December 3 in the U.S., it will begin on Dec. 31 in Israel. Ben-Dror explained that this is because December 3 coincides with the beginning of Hanukkah in Israel, which would mean that #GivingTuesday would have conflicted with other religious-based fundraising campaigns. December 31 was chosen because donations made by the end of the year give a 35 percent tax refund, a fact Ben-Dror said many citizens in the country don’t know.

To further incentivize giving, companies will give out gift cards and other deals to individuals who donate on #GivingTuesday. Ben-Dror said this is to pay homage to Black Friday and other holiday sales that exist in the U.S. but do not have an equivalent in Israel.

As of this writing, Ben-Dror said they have actively signed up 200 of the country’s 30,000 nonprofits to participate in #GivingTuesday. “We expect this to be the largest giving day in Israel,” he said.

That #GivingTuesday is heading to Israel doesn’t come as much of a surprise given the trends occurring in the country. According to a report on IsraelGives’ website, the country experienced a 66 percent growth in online giving in 2012. Specifically, 53,015 donations were made last year, compared to 32,120 in 2011.

Since 2009, more than 30.4 million Sheqels has been raised through IsraelGives. To learn more about #GivingTuesday in Israel, visit the event’s official website at http://givingtuesday.israelgives.org/