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A national day of giving

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

It seems every day around the holidays is destined for a label: Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now, Giving Tuesday.

In somewhat of a backlash against the popular days dedicated to holiday shopping, more than 2,000 partners including nonprofit organizations, corporations, schools and religious groups, have signed onto a website promoting a national day of charitable giving.

"There are so many creative ways that people can volunteer and donate in today's world of social media," Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation and co-founder of the site, told ABC News. "A national day of giving back around the holiday shopping season just makes sense."

The other founder is Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y in New York City.

The idea of giving back is a good one, but supporting a charity is not the same as snagging a one-time deal on a flat-screen TV. To really make a difference in philanthropy, you'll need to take a little time to research legitimate charitable organizations, find the one that fits your passion and make a dedicated effort to contribute time and/or money in a way that will have a lasting impact.

Perhaps the most important aspect of Giving Tuesday is that it will remind people to think about the less fortunate at a time when consumerism is rampant. The fact that the designated day is toward the end of the year means it could be a good prompt for people to begin planning the best way to donate in the coming year.

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