UK's second #GivingTuesday rallies range of celebs and 1,400 corporates

Today is #GivingTuesday - an international day of giving to charitable causes that originated in the US - and a host of companies and eminent celebrities have got behind the event in the UK.

#GivingTuesday began life in the US in 2012 as a partnership between the 92nd Street Y charity and the United Nations Foundation. The day encourages people to do whatever they choose for a good cause, whether it be giving money or time to a charity, or highlighting an issue or organisation doing good work.

It was organised for 1 December because this follows Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving and a important day for US retail – and the more recently coined Cyber Monday.

In 2014, the Charities Aid Foundation, which provides a variety of financial, research and other services to the charity sector, teamed up with not-for-profit accounting software firm Blackbaud to organise the first UK #GivingTuesday.

The inaugural celebration garnered support from 800 large businesses such as RBS, BT and Facebook, and major charities including the NSPCC, RSPCA and Cancer Research UK. In addition, individuals including Prime Minister David Cameron, then opposition leader Ed Miliband and the actress Helen Mirren got involved, and Blackbaud reported a 270 per cent rise in donations through its fundraising platforms compared with the same date the previous year.

This year, more than 1,400 corporate and charity partners are involved. These include BT, which is hosting a launch event attended by the Minister for Civil Society; RBS, which will match up to £500,000 of staff donations on the day; Morrisons; Veterans Aid; Save the Children; the National Gallery; the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Manchester City Council, as the city has become what CAF calls "the first #GivingTuesday city".

A diverse range of celebrity supporters includes Miranda Hart, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Dan Snow, Hannah Cockroft, Falklands veterans Simon Weston and the actor and comedian David Schneider: 

Schneider said: "This is such a good idea. It's surfing the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with all that flinging dosh around so that you then fling dosh around for good causes. I expect it to get bigger and bigger here in the UK as we like a bit of moral offsetting."

Alongside the UK and the US, #GivingTuesday also operates in 11 other countries including New Zealand, Brazil and Germany.

See below for video highlights from last year's #GivingTuesday:

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