Let’s Fix Work Episode 94:

This week’s episode features Asha Curran, Co-Founder and CEO of Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of people in organizations to transform their communities and the world. I’m a fan of big ideas and people who are out there making a difference in the world. Asha is this person. 

Historically, Giving Tuesday was associated with the American Holiday of Thanksgiving but, in recent years, this has changed. It’s more than a hashtag. It’s more than a holiday ritual. It’s an organization and a movement. In this episode, Asha shares the history and the roots of Giving Tuesday, where it is today and where it’s headed tomorrow. So, if you’d like to hear a conversation with someone about philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and how generosity can change the world of work, tune in to this episode of Let’s Fix Work

In this episode you’ll hear:

  1. Asha defines Giving Tuesday, what it is, and how it came to be.
  2. The history of Giving Tuesday including its start at 92nd Street Y. 
  3. Some surprising stats and figures about the organization. For example, in 2019, nearly $2 billion was donated on Giving Tuesday.
  4. What it’s like to work at Giving Tuesday and what is involved in running this organization.
  5. Asha explains why she believes everybody can bond online over philanthropy.
  6. How Asha is working within the community and talking about the future of work. 
  7. The concept of generosity in the workplace, bringing it into every interaction, and how it can change the world of work.
  8. How organizations, companies, and brands can participate in Giving Tuesday (which takes place in 2020 on December 1st). 



Giving Tuesday is an organization as well as a movement, hashtag, and holiday ritual. There is a team of people who run the big strategy behind Giving Tuesday along with the network of global and regional leaders who are making the movement possible, including 63 countries and hundreds of communities. Giving Tuesday was incubated inside the 92nd Street Y, a prestigious Cultural and Community Center in New York. The movement is eight years old but a brand-new nonprofit startup.


At first, Giving Tuesday was associated with American Thanksgiving, taking place on the Tuesday following Black Friday. It was very non-profit focused and all about giving back to the cause that you care about most. Those two things, in particular, have really evolved. Giving Tuesday now takes place all over the world. It is also no longer directly connected to Thanksgiving because that just doesn’t make sense in the vast majority of context that it’s in. In fact, Asha Curran says breaking away from Thanksgiving has taught the Giving Tuesday team an important lesson about how incredibly broad generosity is.


Asha explains, “I think we’re in an age of movements. Movements are the language that people understand. Movements are the language that people are speaking and engaging in. So, when you look around, whether you look at #metoo or #neveragain, there’s a whole lot of them right now. That’s how people are feeling part of the human community. By making their voices heard, along with lots of other people, and finding a sense of bravery and camaraderie and being able to speak out. Knowing that they’re not the only ones who are speaking out. I think there’s a real joy in community. It’s a myth that community can’t happen online. I think it often happens online.”


When the topic of generosity came up, Asha had this to say about generosity and the world of work, “Introducing generosity behaviors into the workplace, and this is true for a non-profit or for-profit company, is also a game-changer. By this I mean to do things like become a peer mentor to someone, refuse to gossip, try to be alert if people are in pain in any way, be there for them, and go out of your way to be kind. All of these things are generosity behaviors. So, generosity behaviors are not just giving money or giving time to the needy and not even about someone having something and another person not having something. Everybody needs kindness, right? Everyone needs generosity. And so, if you actively and intentionally bring generosity into your workplace, it will be a better workplace.”

Resources from this episode:

Asha Curran on LinkedIn
Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday on Instagram
Giving Tuesday on Facebook
Giving Tuesday on LinkedIn
92nd Street Y
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