Will donating to charity ever be as popular as shopping during the holiday season?
A partnership of nonprofits hopes so.
For many people, the holiday shopping marathon began on Thanksgiving day, with some national chains opening their doors just hours after the traditional turkey dinner. Then comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which has morphed into Cyber Week.
Now, there's a new campaign asking you to open your wallet — Giving Tuesday.
The Giving Tuesday website says the effort, coming on the heels of days devoted to consumerism, is designed "to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations."
Several nonprofits are among those using their websites and social media networks to kick off the inaugural effort. They include larger organizations such as CARE, Habitat for Humanity International and the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross.
The effort includes the Twitter hashtag #GivingTuesday, designed to help spread the word.
In Westchester, Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights — a Simon Property Group mall — is participating in the effort.
“We're delighted to see the roll-out of the Simon #GivingTuesday initiatives. Simon was one of the first organizations we spoke to about this project and their immediate enthusiasm was a great boost for this campaign. It is fantastic to see their network across the country engaging in this national celebration of giving,” said Henry Timms, co-founder of #GivingTuesday and deputy executive director of 92nd Street Y.
Jefferson Valley Mall will participate by encouraging shoppers to donate at the Guest Services booth to two worthwhile organizations – American Red Cross and Simon Youth Foundation.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
A national 501(c)(3) public charity headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Simon Youth Foundation, or SYF, ignites hope through educational opportunities for students who are at risk of dropping out of high school through two major initiatives: Simon Youth Academies and Simon Youth Scholarships.
“We’re very excited to be a part of the first #GivingTuesday initiative,” said Lauren Penchina, director of Marketing and Business Development at Jefferson Valley Mall. “Our shoppers are very philanthropic and I know they will help us support these two great causes – the American Red Cross and the Simon Youth Foundation."
What do you think? Can a social media push get people giving more of their money and time to charities during the holiday season?