GivingTuesday's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GivingTuesday on Dec. 1, 2013.(Photo: Facebook.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (USA TODAY) - When Erica Bell heard about the national #GivingTuesday campaign to encourage charitable contributions on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, she, like thousands of people across the USA, decided to get involved.
Bell is the development director of Asheville City Schools Foundation, which raises about $200,000 a year to support learning.
"I was just inspired by the #GivingTuesday mission, which is spreading the spirit of giving," she said.
#GivingTuesday started last year as a charitable answer to the retail shopping days of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday with help from such big names as Sony and Microsoft. One of the creators of #GivingTuesday is encouraged with the movement's growth.
"I think we are really excited to see people all around the country coming together around the idea of giving," says Henry Timms, interim executive director of the 92nd Street Y in New York City that was the catalyst for the day. "I have a real belief that the holiday season is to celebrate giving."
The goal of #GivingTuesday is to drive donations of time, money or services to charities with the same enthusiasm that shoppers have on Black Friday.
Last year, according to #GivingTuesday organizers:
• Online giving was up more than 50% on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving compared to the same Tuesday in 2011 before the #GivingTuesday initiative, according to Charleston, S.C.-based Blackbaud, which offers software and services for non-profits.
• Paypal mobile donations soared 487% higher than the previous year, according to #GivingTuesday partner UN Foundation, citing data from the company. The value of those donations increased 228%.
This year, #GivingTuesday partners number 7,500, up from 2,500, Timms says. And the movement has gone global, with organizations in Australia, Canada, Mexico and Singapore.
The event likely brings in new money for charities, though the exact dollar amount of new donations is unknown, said Steve MacLaughlin, director of the Idea Lab at Blackbaud.
"I think the sense is you will bring in new donors and potentially get old donors to give a second gift," he says. "I think overall, it's bonus."
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