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#Giving Tuesday - Mainers Invited

Organizers of #GivingTuesday are using social media to try to establish a new annual tradition  alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Courtesy:

Organizers of #GivingTuesday are using social media to try to establish a new annual tradition alongside Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Courtesy:

November 20, 2012

PORTLAND, Maine - The idea was hatched just a few weeks ago around the simple observation that we have a day for giving thanks and two days for getting bargains - Black Friday and Cyber Monday - so why not a day for giving back?

Using social media such as Twitter, organizers have set Tuesday, November 27 as the first "Hashtag Giving Tuesday." They're asking people to donate money, services or volunteer time to charities.

Laura Young says the Maine Community Foundation has signed up as a partner in the nationwide effort.

"The concept is just a no-brainer for us. We're all about charitable giving and giving back in the state of Maine. And so, we signed on."

Hashtag Giving Tuesday's organizers say more than a thousand groups have joined up to promote the concept. Having seen Black Friday take hold over a period spanning a generation or more and Cyber Monday take off swiftly in the Internet age, they are expecting the social media age to make Hashtag Giving Tuesday a virtual overnight success.

Aaron Sherinian of the U.N. Foundation says his group is among the first to partner with the movement. And he says it makes sense.

"This is a country of generous people. So, generosity is in our hearts: why shouldn't it be on the calendar?"

Sherinian is expecting #Giving Tuesday to go viral.

"We give really well. We mobilize very well. So, let's use a social media reality and let's help make sure it's on the minds and the tongues - and probably more importantly - in the tweets and on the keyboards of everyone we know."

Laura Young hopes #Giving Tuesday will motivate Mainers.

"Our theme is 'Invest in Maine.' So you can do that by giving in your local community, volunteering or choosing to do it through the Community Foundation. We have an Invest in Maine Fund that helps to support our statewide work."

The night before #Giving Tuesday - Monday, Nov. 26 - the foundation hosts "Inspiring Philanthropy - An Evening with Senator George Mitchell," at the University of Southern Maine.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - ME

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