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

St. Louis-based Gateway to Peace Museum, Habitat for Humanity and the United Way of Greater St. Louis are among the 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 has hopes it will.

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 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 Missouri-based nonprofits are among those using their websites and social media networks to kick off the inaugural effort. They include larger organizations such as the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Gateway to Peace Museum as well as smaller charities such as the Community Council of St. Charles County and Haven of Grace.

The effort includes the Twitter hashtag #GivingTuesday, designed to help spread the word. Some participating organizations are using social media to push awareness and help raise money; others, like the Institute for Family Medicine on South Lindbergh have specific volunteer projects set up to encourage participation.

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

flyoverland November 27, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Americans should pay close attention to the "fiscal cliff" negotiations happening in Washington. One proposal would limit the amount of deductions. While the proposals are vague, all deductions are on the table. The most discussed strategy would provide a cap on deductions. I've heard the number $50,000 tossed around a lot. For most people, that's probably fine. Remember, this would include your mortgage interest, church giving, donations to the Red Cross, whatever. However, rich people donate a disproportional percentage of the total dollars of charitable giving. Last year, my family donated 60% of our taxable income. If this law changes, that will no longer be possible. Why should you care? If large donors do not continue giving to Barnes Hospital, the hospital will have to raise its prices and your health insurer will raise your rates. If Muni bond interest is no longer totally tax free, Ladue Schools will have to pay more to issue bonds and will need to raise your property taxes to pay the higher costs. This is simply a ploy to take wealth out of local economies and send the money to Washington where it can be wasted. There are already limits on the amount of deductions that can be claimed by the wealthy. If deductions are limited globally, charitable giving will decline precipitously and the only time #GivingTuesday will happen will be when April 15th falls on a Tuesday.

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