(WANE) – Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday all get people to pull out their wallets and spend money.
On Giving Tuesday though, many people begin using their money in a different way. They shift their focus from buying to giving back.
The holiday started six years ago. Each year since then, it has marked the beginning of the biggest charity season of the year.
It started in New York with a simple idea to bring people together for a day of unity and gratitude. Now it has grown into a global movement.
Millions of people donate money, time, and resources to causes they feel passionate about each year. Last year on Giving Tuesday, Americans donated more than $180 million to charities online in less than 24 hours.
The Better Business Bureau says that trend will likely continue to grow.
“We know that as time goes on, there are going to be many new needs and causes that come up, and we’re going to need people that are open to a broad array of institutions and causes that need to be solved, so that we can actually solve them,” Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB’s Give.org said.
A BBB survey showed Millenials could play a crucial role in growing charity efforts in the future.
The survey revealed 61% of Millennials are talking to their children about charities. The top four charity types millennials are talking about with their children are disaster relief, animal protection, health and environment.
The survey also showed Millenials are more likely to do research on an organization or cause before donating to it.
According to the Better Business Bureau, research is the first step to making smart and safe donations this Giving Tuesday. With more than a million charity organizations around the world, it’s important to know where your money is going.
“Plan your giving,” Taylor said. “Now would be a great time to sit down with family members and think about the causes that matter to you most.Then, proactively seek out the charities that are best positioned to address those causes.”
The BBB has more tips on how to donate safely at Give.org.
The giving season goes beyond Giving Tuesday, but new research found the holiday brings a significant bump in overall yearly giving. Data shows up to 63 percent of people who donate during the holidays gave only on Giving Tuesday.
Several area institutions and organizations are asking for your help and donations this time of year, specifically on Giving Tuesday.
For a full list of organizations accepting Giving Tuesday donations, click here.