How to Make Smart Donations on ‘Giving Tuesday’

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On Giving Tuesday, you're asked to forget about holiday shopping and donate money to charity instead. Find out how to give the right way.

Millions of Americans opened their wallets wide to score bargain shopping deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Now nonprofits across the globe are urging consumers to shift their focus from shopping to charity on Nov. 29, Giving Tuesday.

The global one-day charity event was started in 2012 by two organizations: The 92nd Street Y, a New York-based cultural and community center, and the United Nations Foundation. It’s held on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

The U.N. Foundation says Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to raise both funds and awareness for nonprofits across the globe. “Let’s do a great deal (!!) of good in the world [on Giving Tuesday],” the U.N. Foundation quips. It goes on to say:

[These are] gifts people really can’t live without. Forget doorbusters. These are door openers! Spend your dollars on real impact for people.

No matter which cause matters most to you, you’re sure to be able to find a nonprofit agency that could use your help on Giving Tuesday — which also goes by the social media moniker #GivingTuesday.

But before you pick a charity (or charities) to support on Giving Tuesday, do some homework. For example, if you’re planning on giving money to a nonprofit agency with which you are not familiar, vet them before giving them first. Sites like the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving, GuideStar and Charity Navigator are good places to start.

Claire Costello, national philanthropic practice executive with U.S. Trust, tells USA Today that determining how much you donate is a “highly personal and idiosyncratic process.” Costello continues:

“Having an annual giving budget and strategy in place is a best practice that can help to determine the amount of your contributions. … It is also important to bear in mind that monetary gifts are but one way to support an organization. Giving of your time, talents and skills, making introductions or hosting events for the organization are some other ways to provide valuable support.”

For more tips, check out “6 Tips to Donate to Charity the Smart Way.”

Do you donate to nonprofits on Giving Tuesday? Share your comments below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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