In 2012, Asha Curran was working at the 92nd Street Y – a nonprofit community and cultural center in Manhattan, NY – when she and her coworker thought of a game-changing idea. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they would urge their networks to participate in “GivingTuesday,” a day that encourages people to do good by donating to the nonprofit sector.
The first ever GivingTuesday was a huge success. Asha was amazed by the number of people who stepped up to support their favorite nonprofits. But among all of the #GivingTuesday posts on social media, one Tweet rose above the noise and captured Asha’s attention.
It was a photo of a woman in the Midwest who held up a sign that read, “I’m not rich. I don’t have a million dollars. But I can help change lives on GivingTuesday.”
That’s when Asha realized GivingTuesday’s full potential. GivingTuesday didn’t just provide an opportunity for people to make charitable donations. It offered a space for everyone, no matter who they were, to give back to their community. Whether it’s their time, money, or voice, every person has something valuable to share with the world, including the power to change it.
Fast-forward seven years, and that same philosophy continues to guide GivingTuesday’s mission. Today, while GivingTuesday is still widely known as one big day of giving, it represents much more than that. It’s a year-round, global generosity movement that’s empowered millions of people and organizations to give whatever they can to transform their communities and the world.
Asha is currently the CEO of the GivingTuesday nonprofit, which she describes as the “backbone of the global movement.” The organization has helped build and support a world-wide network of community organizers, who leverage the power of generosity to inspire others and tackle their regions’ biggest challenges. While each GivingTuesday division works to address issues that are specific to its region – things like climate change, healthcare, education, or clean water – they all work together to achieve a common goal: to build a more just and generous world.