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Giving Tuesday: A Chance to Give Back During the Holiday Season

Minnesota nonprofits trying to encourage people to pause in their shopping and find a way to help others.

Will donating to charity ever be as popular as shopping during the holiday season?

A partnership of nonprofits hopes so.

For many people, the holiday shopping marathon began on Thanksgiving day, with some national chains opening their doors just hours after the traditional turkey dinner. Then comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, which has morphed into Cyber Week.

Now, there's a new national campaign asking you to open your wallet—Giving Tuesday.

The Giving Tuesday website says the effort, coming on the heels of days devoted to consumerism, is designed "to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season. It celebrates and encourages charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations."

Several Minnesota nonprofits are among the Twin Cities-based organizations using their websites and social media networks to kick off the inaugural effort. They include organizations such as Animal Humane Society, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Children’s HeartLink and Starkey Hearing Foundation.

The effort includes the Twitter hashtag #GivingTuesday to help spread the word.

Minnesota already has its own day devoted to charitable giving before Thanksgiving and Black Friday —Give to the Max Day, held on Nov. 15 this year. The new, nationally organized Giving Tuesday effort is trying to do something similar in the post-Thanksgiving holiday period.

What do you think? Can a social media push get people giving more of their money and time to charities during the post-Thanksgiving holiday season?

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