Not hard to find a good cause for Giving Tuesday

We’ve had Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, all aimed at encouraging holiday spending.

Now comes a different day making a pitch to part you from your money. But this gift is not for family, or even yourself. In fact, you might never know exactly who benefited from your participation in #Giving Tuesday.

That doesn’t mean it won’t make you feel good to give.

Giving Tuesday — the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving — has blossomed since it started in 2012, and reportedly drew $300 million last year in online donations last year. Keep in mind, too, that may not reflect all that was pledged that day — experts estimate 90 percent of contributions still are made by check.

Like the two major shopping days before it, #GivingTuesday offers some definite good reasons — beyond the simple thought of helping some charity or cause achieve their goals — for participating on that day.

A number of organizations have secured arrangements that will match whatever is donated for the day.

Facebook has waived its fees for donations made to U.S. nonprofits through Facebook, plus it and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are matching up to $2 million of funds raised for the day.

You can go international — all of the recommendations at www.givewell.org are outside the U.S. due to the level of help that can be achieved for every dollar. Many worthy groups can be found in the U.S. as well.

Or perhaps you’d like to keep the money right in the community. Two area non-profits have registered projects on give906.org, the Upper Peninsula’s #GivingTuesday portal — the Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp in Crystal Falls, which seeks $3,000 to help repair showers and upgrade the water heater in the Vagland shower house before next summer; and Friends of the Braumart, for continued work at the historic theater in Iron Mountain.

You also can search at www.givingtuesday.org for local efforts looking for donations, such as Holy Spirit Catholic School in Norway or Habitat for Humanity Menominee River.

A little advise for #GivingTuesday, and any other day you choose to donate: do a little research on how the money is used and how much goes to the cause rather than management, stay away from businesses trying to tap into the trend as a marketing tool, beware of scammers and be certain the site you use is legitimate.

Otherwise, Giving Tuesday is a great excuse to join a growing global movement and help some great causes. Keep in mind, too, that giving can happen any day, not just today.

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