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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.

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Giving Tuesday: Two Great Organizations, Thousands of Participants, One Day to Give

Giving Tuesday 2014

Today is Giving Tuesday, a chance to donate vital funds to worthy nonprofit organizations across the country. Now in its third year, the charitable social media event is bigger than ever, drawing in thousands of participants and raising millions for nonprofits.

Giving Tuesday in and of itself is a fantastic campaign and social media event. It challenges consumerist culture and invites people to give back rather than take during a time of year when storefronts and countless ads are telling us all to thoughtlessly consume. By now you’ve likely seen the trending hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media, but have you put any thought into who sparked this charitable campaign?

Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. According to the Giving Tuesday website, “Together with a team of influencers and founding partners, we launched a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.” In addition to the dozens of individual influencers, Giving Tuesday is made possible with help from Giving Institute, Lodestar Foundation, Giving USA Foundation, The Case Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CECP, and others.

92nd Street Y is a “world-class cultural community center where people all over the world connect through culture, arts, entertainment and conversation,” explains the organization of its more than 140 years as a leader in community building through the arts. “92Y enthusiastically welcomes and reaches out to people of all ages, races, faiths and backgrounds while embracing Jewish values like learning and self-improvement, the importance of family, the joy of life, and giving back to our wonderfully diverse and growing community, both locally and around the world,” says the organization.

The United Nations Foundation “links the UN’s work with others around the world, mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations,” explains the organization. It’s the Foundation’s mission to fosters a more peaceful and just world, and works towards this goal by supporting programs like Giving Tuesday.

Interested in learning even more about the partners and founders of Giving Tuesday? Be sure to visit the campaign’s official website!

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‘Giving Tuesday’ is Back, and Bigger than Before

Giving Tuesday
IMG: via Shutterstock

After the shopping frenzy that was Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, maybe it’s time to take a step back and remember what’s really important this holiday season: being kind, generous, and giving. Last year, the United Nations kicked off the first ever Giving Tuesday in an effort to remind people around the world that the holidays aren’t just about consumerism. The idea is for us to all join together with our communities (physical and digital) to make the world a better place. This year, over 7,000 nonprofits are participating (over last year’s 2,500). Are you up for the challenge? Go to the full Giving Tuesday profile piece to find out what you can do to participate this year!

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A New Tradition: Giving Tuesday

giving tuesday
IMG: via Giving Tuesday

This holiday season, businesses, individuals, and nonprofits are coming together to start a new tradition—that of Giving Tuesday. Every year, we give thanks on the fourth Thursday of November. Then, the following Friday and Monday we partake in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, bargain hunting and shopping for the holidays.

But why not add a new tradition to that list? Giving Tuesday helps us remember that being charitable is even more important around the holidays. And wouldn’t it make sense to have a day of giving following a day of thanks? This year has seen many people already doing just that; Sandy devastated millions of Americans, but also inspired many more to share their homes, money, and good fortune with those who were down on their luck.

Giving Tuesday was launched as an idea in September with about forty partners pledging to get the movement going. Now, just two months later, there are over 2,000 partners dedicated to the cause.

The best part? You get to choose how to give back. The only thing Giving Tuesday asks of us is that we find a way to give back and do it: donating to a charity, volunteering, raising awareness about a cause, or any number of other things. It doesn’t have be a monetary contribution, though donations are certainly welcome.

The hope is that all these little acts of kindness will add up to a large amount of change and a collectively charitable attitude that extends beyond just the single day. What could be a better gift than working together to create a better world for all?