With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday in the rear-view mirror, U.S. charities are hoping conscientious consumers have reserved a little cash for Giving Tuesday. The campaign created in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, a New York City-based nonprofit cultural center and supported by the United Nations Foundation, encourages people to make donations, volunteer or show support for their favorite philanthropic organizations.
Good deeds done on this Tuesday are typically shared via the hashtag “#GivingTuesday” and curated on the campaign’s website. Organizers said the effort has gone global and has resulted in tens of millions of dollars to thousands of charities.
"There are so many ways to get involved in #GivingTuesday — in addition to making monetary donations, give blood, give a coat, give your time,” Henry Timms, a campaign founder and executive director of 92nd Street Y, told USA Today. “There is even a campaign this year to encourage organ donation," he added.
— #GivingTuesday (@GivingTues) December 1, 2015
By some estimates, millions of tweets and social media shares of #GivingTuesday, generated $46 million in donations in 2014, NBC News reported. A 470 percent increase overall in online donations to philanthropic groups has also been attributed to the Giving Tuesday.
More than 30,000 nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses in nearly 70 countries have signed up to be Giving Tuesday partners this year. Those groups hope to benefit from “millions of people [thinking] about how they can convert their passion into impact," Kim Meredith, executive director of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, told NBC News.
— RaiseDonors (@raisedonors) December 1, 2015
Experts have encouraged givers to do research on the organizations they intend to help. Beth Kanter, who writes for Beth's Blog, a website created to help nonprofits use social media, said an initial small donations help donors gage whether a charity is a right fit.
"I don't want to be treated like an ATM machine," Kanter said to NBC News. "I recently made a minor donation to a group and received a hand written thank you note from the executive director and that really resonated with me." Charity screening websites such as Charity Navigator and GuideStar are also good resources for vetting nonprofits, Kanter added.