After the shopping madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, philanthropy gets its turn with Giving Tuesday.
The global day of giving was originated as a way to raise awareness about local charities during the holiday season, when 24 percent of all donations are made. Participants show their support for their favorite charities on social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. It takes place this Tuesday, Dec. 1.
The initiative has increased donations on that day by 470 percent. It now has more than 30,000 partner charities in 68 countries, including Catholic Charities of Buffalo and Young Audiences of Western New York.
Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the the 92nd Street Y, a New York City-based community center, along with the United Nations Foundation, as a way to redirect the focus away from commercialization and consumerism during the holiday season.
Participating charities arrange their own Giving Tuesday events. For example, Community Missions of Niagara Frontier has partnered with several businesses. Rainforest Café, TGI Friday’s, and Denny’s will donate 10 percent of the day’s sales Tuesday; 24 Below Art Gallery and Café will donate 25 percent of its special breakfast service between 7 and 10 a.m.; LongHorn Steakhouse will donate 10 percent of its sales when mentioning Giving Tuesday; and Panera Bread will donate 10 percent of its sales between 4 and 8 p.m., with a flier found at www.communitymissions.org/givingtuesday.
Donations to Launch NY’s crowdfunding campaign at givegab.com can be made free of website surcharges on Tuesday. Launch NY is a nonprofit venture development organization serving Western New York. It raises seed money for local startups.
Niagara University will have representatives scattered throughout Western New York to take monetary and nonperishable food donations, which will be distributed to several local nonprofit organizations.