Giving Tuesday encourages philanthropy during the holiday season

By Paul EngConsumer Reports

Last week, millions of Americans went on their annual holiday-shopping spree. The gift-buying season got started on Thanksgiving night, reached warp drive on Black Friday, and culminated with virtual crowds flooding websites on Cyber Monday. The retail bonanza will continue until Christmas, but there is a day when one organization hopes that people will at least partially turn away from consumerism and consider the charitable side of the holiday season.

Tuesday Dec. 3 has been dubbed Giving Tuesday. Started last year by the New York 92nd Street Y, Giving Tuesday was conceived as a way "to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season."

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More than 8,000 nonprofits nationwide are part of this year's Giving Tuesday; they're listed in a searchable database on The site highlights the works and goals of some of these groups so you can more easily find organizations that match your personal interests.

Whether or not you donate, you can spread the word about Giving Tuesday via social media, including Twitter (using #GivingTuesday).

And before you make any type of charitable contribution, make sure your donation counts.

—Paul Eng

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