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Black Friday...Cyber Monday...Now #GivingTuesday?

Nov. 27 will be the first "#GivingTuesday" commemoration.
Nov. 27 will be the first "#GivingTuesday" commemoration.
November 26, 2012

NASHUA, N.H. - The idea was hatched just a few weeks ago around a simple observation: Americans have one day for giving thanks - Thanksgiving - 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 set Tuesday, Nov. 27, as the first "#(hashtag)Giving Tuesday." They're asking people to donate money, services or volunteer time to charities.

One of the first groups to partner up was the U.N. Foundation, where Aaron Sherinian is part of the public relations effort promoting #Giving Tuesday.

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

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 #Giving Tuesday a virtual overnight success.

Sherinian says what organizers call a "team of influencers" is already tweeting about #Giving Tuesday

"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."

You can look at it as "opening day" for the giving season, Sherinian says.

"We've already got over 1,000 organizations signed up to be part of this movement, saying, 'I already know that this is a part of what my constituencies and my communities want to do.' Let's make a statement about giving and give 'giving' its opening day."

According to Giving USA, Americans gave $298 billion in 2011, but due to the recession, giving has dropped from a peak of $310 billion in 2007.

Organizers are still seeking "social media ambassadors" to help spread the word. More information is available at http://givingtuesday.org

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NH