If you like to spend money there is no shortage of days that celebrate shopping. We have Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday? Yes, Giving Tuesday is tomorrow, November 27, 2018. Giving Tuesday is a “newer” national day of giving that encourages altruism during the holiday season when shoppers tend to have their wallets open along with their hearts a little more than other times of the year. With such materialistic shopping frenzies of years past, more light is being shone on the increased need for charitable donations during the holidays.
How did this “Global Giving Movement” start? Seven years ago the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association or the 92Y started Giving Tuesday. The 92nd Street Y is a cultural and community center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City located at the corner of East 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue and is not part of the YMCA. 92Y decided Giving Tuesday should annually take place on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving Day since it is in the midst of the holiday shopping season and is the best time of the year for philanthropy among companies as well as individuals. It is said that about 20 percent of charitable donations occur during the month of December and charitable giving has been on the steady rise for the past 40 years according to CharityNavigator.org. Has Giving Tuesday made a difference? Yes. In fact, since its inception “Giving Tuesday has inspired charitable giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities,” states ConsumerReports.org.
In the giving mood? Great! Just be sure that whichever charity you decide to donate to is an A-rated charity, meaning they use at least 65 percent of their donations for the mission or cause and not to fundraising or administrative costs. See last year’s Consumer Reports partial list of well-known organizations who are worthy and not-so-worthy of your generous donations.
Some other helpful tips before blindly forking over your hard-earned savings:
1. Do your homework on the charity and double-check their rating on charity watchdog sites*
2. Make sure that the charitable organization is tax-exempt
3. Avoid giving to a professional fundraiser; give to the organization themselves when possible
4. Watch out for low-rated sound-alike organizations meant to confuse and deceive the donator
5. Request that the organization protects your privacy and contact info from other charities
“Whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community, it’s a simple idea. Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back and then share your idea,” suggests GivingTuesday.org