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After the madness of Black Friday subsides and consumers recover from the click-for-all shopping experience connected with Cyber Monday, the world takes a moment to consider giving.
November 29, 2022, is Giving Tuesday.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a worldwide day of donating, celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and after the massive consumer spending days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
Launched a decade ago, in 2012, Giving Tuesday is the official kickoff to the season of giving and time to focus on holiday and end-of-year donations to your favorite causes.
Americans donated over $471 billion to charities in 2020, up 5.1 percent from the previous year. And while these numbers are impressive, there are hundreds of charitable organizations that need support.
Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to give for a variety of reasons. Besides the overall fantastic feeling that comes with giving to a good cause, the donations are also tax deductible when given to a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, which will give back to you during tax season.
Why use a credit card to donate on Giving Tuesday?
Donating on Giving Tuesday is even easier when using credit cards for everyday purchases, especially with the arrival of the holiday gift-giving season.
Using a credit card to send a charitable donation often involves little more than visiting the official website of your favorite cause. Most major charities allow supporters to gift monetary donations through one-time payments or recurring payments charged directly to a credit card each month.
Many charities set up donations via text message. Giving money during times of crisis is possible with the help of apps such as MobileCause and Snowball. Here are just a few more uncomplicated options for using credit cards to help your favorite worthy cause.
Donate the rewards you’re not using
Many credit cards allow your to directly donate your rewards to charities such as UNICEF, the Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Consult the rewards section for your specific credit card for more information on participating charities. American Express, Citi and Discover all have direct donation options in their rewards redemption portals.
Even frequent flyer miles are welcomed, especially by charities like the Make-A-Wish foundation. The foundation’s director of public relations says that airline travel is the non-profit’s most significant expense and donated miles are a “critical and budget-relieving resource.”
If your current credit card earns cash back but does not allow you to donate it to charity directly, you can still redeem those accumulated dollars and cents to put toward your charitable donation.
Buy from companies who support Giving Tuesday
This extensive list of companies who donate to charity includes hotel chains, airlines, restaurants, and retailers.
AmazonSmile, a site operated by Amazon, donates 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the nonprofit organization of your choice. Just sign up in advance, select your favorite charity, then shop through the AmazonSmile storefront instead of Amazon.com.
Apply for credit cards that automatically give back
It’s important to note that while using a credit card to donate on Giving Tuesday is the best method, there may be fees involved depending on the financial institution. In some cases, a transaction or interchange fee is deducted meaning the charity doesn’t receive the full donation amount.
Applying for credit cards co-branded by specific charitable organizations or explicitly created for charitable donations — often called affinity credit cards — is one way to avoid these fees. For example, the Aspiration Zero credit card, which plants a tree every time a cardholder makes a purchase.
Instead of writing a check to your favorite charity, find credit cards that support a cause with every transaction and maximize your gift.
More quick but powerful ways to give on Giving Tuesday
- Explore employer match programs: There’s a good chance your employer also matches donations to charitable organizations. This list of 51 major employers who match donations to nonprofits includes GE, American Express, Coca-Cola and Pfizer.
- Round up if you can: A few quick donation options include saying “yes” to the cashier when he or she asks if you’d like to donate $1 to a specific charity. If you gave on your last visit to the store, why not do it again?
- Donate food: While grocery shopping, pick up a few extra cans of vegetables, soup, broths or other canned items and drop those cans off at a local food bank on the way home.
- Shop at nonprofit retailers: Use your card at local Salvation Army or Goodwill Stores for those smaller gifts for office Christmas parties or tokens of appreciation for the mailman.
- Think globally, act locally: Don’t forget to support local charities! The Giving Tuesday website makes finding charities in your area simple. Users can search by city, state, organization type or even organization name.
Giving back more than once a year
It’s important to remember that charitable giving isn’t just something to do only around the holidays or for tax purposes.
Whether it’s a donation of time, money or the power of your voice in your local community, find a way to give back on Nov. 29, and give yourself the gift of giving.
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