After spending hundreds of dollars on yourself, your family and your friends this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may consider using the rest of your savings in a more altruistic way.
Giving Tuesday, and the #GivingTuesday hashtag circulating the Internet and flooding your email inbox Tuesday, is all about encouraging philanthropy after the year's two biggest shopping events. But it's a relatively new "movement," as its founders call it, and might not be familiar.
DNAinfo New York has answers to all your questions about Giving Tuesday:
What is it exactly?
Now in its fifth year, Giving Tuesday is a "global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration," according to the event's website.
Held annually the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, it celebrates and encourages donations of time, money, resources and talent.
Giving Tuesday is basically the nonprofit version of Small Business Saturday.
Who came up with it?
The idea for the movement came from the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side, previously known as the 92Y's Center for Innovation and Social Impact. The center is an incubator for programs that foster social good, like the Women inPower fellowship for female leaders, and the 7 Days of Genius festival.
Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 with help from the United Nations Foundation. This year its "headquarters" are at the 92nd Street Y where screens are set up to show how much money nonprofits across the world are raising in real time, and New Yorkers are welcome to stop by to donate coats and write holiday cards.
Nonprofits, businesses, foundations, schools, cities and religious organizations are invited to get involved by promoting a targeted charity initiative or project for the day, like a local toy drive or holiday bake sale. More than 40,000 organizations worldwide officially registered in 2015, according to a press release.
Individuals are encouraged to reach out to organizations in their community to seek giving and pro-bono opportunities, volunteer their time, make financial donations, and discuss payroll giving with their employers. In 2015, roughly 700,000 people raised a total of $116.7 million online, donating an average of $107 each.
What are some ways I can get involved here in New York City?
You can search for local opportunities here.
Just a few of the organizations soliciting donations include:
► JustLeadershipUSA, a nonprofit working to cut the country's correctional population in half by 2030
► Rebuilding Together NYC, a nonprofit that repairs the homes of low-income New Yorkers and offers them training in construction work
► American Red Cross, which is running a holiday giving campaign subsidizing gifts helping disaster victims, veterans and children
► Helen Keller Services for the Blind, which provides training, technology and support to people who are visually impaired, blind or deaf-blind
► Time In, an initiative bringing the arts to at-risk public school children in Harlem and the South Bronx
► The Carter Burden Center for the Aging, which runs centers for and provides social services to New York City seniors
If you'd like to contribute to international causes, GiveWell, a nonprofit that researched charities and their impacts, has a few suggestions here.