Giving_TuesdayThe holiday season is when most charities and philanthropic organizations earn the lion’s share of their keep. In 2012, many decided to mark the occasion with an official day that was dubbed Giving Tuesday, following Black Friday and immediately after Cyber Monday.

More than 8,000 nonprofits nationwide are part of this year’s Giving Tuesday and are 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.

Of course, the holiday is taking flight in Atlanta. Tolli Love, vice president for individual fundraising and marketing for Atlanta-based CARE, said the last quarter of the year is a big fundraising time for the global organization.

“Every time you turn on the TV or radio you hear people talking about Black Friday or Cyber Monday,” she said. “To me, Giving Tuesday feel like a no-brainer. Why not create a national day of giving? My hope is that donors and supporters will do more with their wallets than just shop.”

CARE will mark Giving Tuesday with a contest, a donor appreciation telethon and a video promoting an annual day of giving.

The first Giving Tuesday was held in 2012 as a way to raise awareness and money to support the good work charities do throughout the year. The day was conceived by New York’s 92nd Street Y and encourages people to give their time, service and money to help those organization who help others.

“We have two days that are good for the economy, what about a day that will be good for the soul?” Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the 92nd Street Y told the AJC in 2012.

Drawing on the support and expertise of other organizations, businesses and individuals, Giving Tuesday was launched as a national movement.

“It’s something we can build on,” said Shana Masterson, national associate director for interactive fundraising and engagement at the American Diabetes Association. “I imagine there is going to be even more competition on Giving Tuesday this year.”

Masterson’s organization raised about $21,000 through its Giving Tuesday campaign in 2012 even though the group had only about three weeks to prepare.

Because the 2012 incarnation of Giving Tuesday was a spur-of-the-moment, grassroots-style event organized for the first time, the American Diabetes Association, and many other groups, didn’t have an opportunity to communicate with donors in advance and create a fully fleshed-out campaign.

Charitable organizations are also encouraging those interested in giving to make sure their donations count. The easiest way to research national charities is with the three major charity watchdogs: Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. They rate charities based on how they spend their money, protect donor privacy, govern themselves, and more.

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