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What to Know About Giving Tuesday and How You Can Help

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There’s a day for giving thanks, three days for cashing in on deals — and now there’s a day to give back.

Giving Tuesday is observed internationally on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. It’s meant as way to promote philanthropy and generosity.

The movement aims to bring people, businesses and charities together and facilitate change in their communities by giving back during the holiday season.

What Is Giving Tuesday and When Is It Observed?

Giving Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a day to give back to the community following the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Giving Tuesday will be observed on Nov. 29.

The campaign was launched in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y, a New York City-based cultural and community center, and the United Nations Foundation. Its website says it “has engaged over 30,000 organizations worldwide,” including Microsoft, Google, PayPal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

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How Does Giving Tuesday Work?

If you’re feeling generous, you can open up your wallet and give to the charity of your choice. Or you can volunteer your time to a local organization and help feed the hungry, provide supplies for the poor or even help a neighbor with yard work or surprise a new mom with caregiving for an hour.

Visit GivingTuesday.org to see what organizations you can donate to in your area and other ways you can help give back to your community.

What to Know Before You Donate

The Better Business Bureau urged donors to research charities before giving to make sure their funds are going to trustworthy organizations.

Here are some tips the consumer watchdog group has offered if you’re looking to donate money to a good cause this Giving Tuesday or holiday season:

 Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.

• Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.

 Be wary of emotional appeals. Marketers have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.

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• Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit Give.org to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.

The BBB also notes that it offers in-depth evaluations and charity reports at Give.org.

How do you really know your donations are going to make a difference? Here are some ways to make sure your money is going toward a good cause. 

Source: NBC New York

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