Between the extra helpings and extra items in the cart, you might forget the holidays aren't actually about taking, but giving rather.
And Giving Tuesday, celebrated on Dec. 3 this year, provides a gateway into just that. In its second year, the new "holiday" of sorts offers a selfless response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday by encouraging charitable giving and highlighting worthy causes.
Giving Tuesday, launched by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, has expanded rapidly. This year, the initiative is partnering with 7,500 nonprofits, up from 2,500 last year, USA Today reports. Giving Tuesday saw an online donation spike of 53 percent last year compared to the same Tuesday in 2011, according to Blackbaud, a nonprofit research and software firm.
As a movement, Giving Tuesday does not actually accept donations online. Instead, the site aims to connect donors and major charities such as UNICEF, the Malala Fund and the Trevor Project, as well as corporate foundation arms such as eBay Deals and Johnson & Johnson, which are all taking part.
Just as the movement is redefining philanthropy, it's using new technology to repurpose other traditions. New social media initiatives this year include a “Hangout-a-thon," an old-school telethon that takes place in a Google+ Hangout. Celebrities including Jennifer Garner and Sophia Bush will be talking about their causes and urging support, Tech Crunch reports.
This year, participants are urged to upload to social media an "#UNselfie," a hashtagged photo of the user that depicts a cause that's important to them.
Check our more of the Giving Tuesday highlights in the liveblog below. Then check out charities worth donating to at Giving Tuesday.
12/03/2013 6:10 PM EST
Good Ventures announced $5 million in matching funds for donations through January 31, 2014. Learn more here.
12/03/2013 3:01 PM EST
12/03/2013 1:51 PM EST
12/03/2013 1:42 PM EST
The #Unselfie and other ways millennials are raising awareness for #GivingTuesday
"Selfie" may be Oxford Dictionary'sword of the year, but today marks the day of the "unselfie." And young social do-gooders, in particular, are trading in duck face for this more altruistic photo opp. Read more here.
12/03/2013 1:39 PM EST
Girls Who Code using Google Hangout-a-thon to raise awareness for young women in tech. Watch here.
12/03/2013 11:41 AM EST
Typically, the holidays are a moment when many Americans volunteer to help the most vulnerable. Others make charitable contributions that can last throughout the holiday season. Next week, we will celebrate #GivingTuesday, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and motivate action for the common good.