What is Giving Tuesday? 5 things to know about the holiday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What Is Giving Tuesday?

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but don’t put away your wallets just yet. Today is Giving Tuesday, a global celebration that inspires people to give back during the holidays and beyond.

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On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving Day, thousands of charities ask citizens to donate their money and time to organizations, including the American Cancer Society, Animal Savers Rescue and Hands On Atlanta.

Entering its sixth year, the philanthropic event "connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving," the Giving Tuesday site reads.

Want to learn more about the occasion? Here are five things you should know.

When did Giving Tuesday begin?

The holiday launched in 2012 after a team at New York's 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit dedicated to developing programs that foster mental and physical health, partnered with the United Nations Foundation to find a way to engage charitable organizations worldwide.

Thus, Giving Tuesday was born to provide a platform for people to "donate their time, resources and talents to address local challenges" and "amplify small acts of kindness." 

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How much money has been raised?

In 2015, $177 million was raised online by 98 countries and more than 85 community coalitions across the globe, according to the site. There were about 1.6 million total online gifts, and the median online gift was about $108.

How do organizations get involved?

Join the movement by signing up your 501(c)3 online. Then, download the toolkit, which will provide a ton of resources to help you get started. You can also refer to the ideas and case studies to better map out your plan.

How do individuals donate? 

Search for nonprofits in your neighborhood to volunteer your time, donate funds, or use your skills to help groups with campaigns. Use the site to filter your search by city and state, organization type, or organization name.

While you cannot submit money on the Giving Tuesday site, it will direct you to an organization's official page, where you can give a gift there. Also try out the Charity Navigator, a tool that you helps you confirm legitimate organizations.

How do I follow the movement?

Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media. You can also use the #UNselfie hashtag to talk about how you are giving and why. Find out more about Giving Tuesday here.

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