Don’t Forget to Celebrate Giving Tuesday

It’s incredibly ironic that immediately following Thanksgiving, people are willing to trample one another for the best sales deals. Here’s a better proposal: instead of participating in Black Friday, why not participate in Giving Tuesday? It’s certainly a lot more in line with the spirit of Thanksgiving.

For those of you who’ve never heard of Giving Tuesday before, it’s like a national holiday for charitable donations. It takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, which would be November 29 this year. Social media users created the “holiday” as a pushback against the greed and selfishness that’s displayed after Thanksgiving. #GivingTuesday is now a popular hash tag on Twitter.

But the best part about Giving Tuesday is that there isn’t one specific charity that people are encouraged to donate to. Those who wish to participate can donate to any organization they choose. However, we at Philanthropic People always advise you to do your research before making any contributions. Readers should know that every year during the holidays, there is an increase in the amount of scam charities.

Ken Berger, CEO of Charity Navigator, knows this all too well.

“Because so much money is being given out during this time, by extension the scammers and the thieves know this is the time to exploit people the most,” Berger warned. “The causes that we find scammers are drawn to the most are the ones that the American public really resonates most powerfully with. So examples are charities that are meant to support the families and people themselves who have risked their lives for our country: police, firefighters, veterans. And in another group are charities that are meant to help children—children with cancer, children with disabilities.”

The easiest way to protect yourself from fraud is to educate yourself on what to look out for. A complete list of scam charity warning signs can be found here.