NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just as Black Friday is an important day for retailers, Giving Tuesday is a big day for nonprofits.

“The way to look at Giving Tuesday is a kickoff to an already generous month,” Asha Curran of the 92nd Street Y told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

Giving Tuesday started at the 92nd Street Y in 2012. Donations have grown dramatically since.

Curran said she feels the day reaches untapped philanthropists.

“People want to give back,” she said. “It is a proud and powerful American tradition.”

In Queens, the New York Mets teamed up with the volunteer organization New York Cares for their “Warm Up” coat drive, drawing hundreds of fans and collecting more than one thousand coats for people in need. 

The Mets sweetened the deal by offering fans a voucher for two tickets to a home game in exchange for their donations, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.

“I can just come over here and I can support my team, give a jacket to somebody that might need it and also get some tickets in the process,” Peter Romanski, of Long Island City, said.

This year nearly 40,000 partner organizations are collecting gifts of money, coats and shoes.

Dress for Success outfits women in need as they re-enter the work force. This Giving Tuesday, their focus is on shoes.

“There are a lot of non-profits and a lot of government agencies really here in American and around the world that are serving communities of need,” Joi Gordon, of Dress for Success, said. “So if this is a reminder to people to get involved, to give back, to make a difference that’s what Giving Tuesday and for us, Giving Shoes Day, is all about.”

Organizers are also harnessing the power of social media, with the hashtag #GivingTuesday, to encourage more people to celebrate generosity and give.

On Tuesday, PayPal is attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most money raised for charity online within a 24-hour time period, according to Pablo Rodriguez, the Director of Global Consumer Initiatives at PayPal.

“Throughout the month of December, as consumers give to nonprofits using PayPal, PayPal will match every donation with a one percent match through the month of December.”

Josh Milstein, CEO of Mommy Nearest, was collecting children’s toys and clothes Tuesday.

“I think parents want to find a way to involve their children in the giving movement,” he said.

And the giving doesn’t have to be about money, Curran said.

“You can give time,” she said. “You can give your expertise. You can simply lend your voice to a cause that you care about or feel passionately about.”