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#GivingTuesday Offers Floridians a Chance to Give Back

GRAPHIC: Nonprofits across Florida and the nation are encouraging people to donate time and money on #GivingTuesday. Photo credit: GivingTuesday.org.
GRAPHIC: Nonprofits across Florida and the nation are encouraging people to donate time and money on #GivingTuesday. Photo credit: GivingTuesday.org.
December 2, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After spending all weekend with your "Santa List," Florida nonprofits want people to consider giving back to their communities.

Today is #GivingTuesday, and the goal is to inspire consumers to contribute in the form of charitable donations to improve the lives of others.

Rena Coughlin, CEO of the Nonprofit Center for Northeast Florida, says while many nonprofits appreciate monetary gifts, your time is also valuable.

"Giving Tuesday is a terrific way to bring a lot of focus and attention to the importance of giving in every way," she says. "Small, large, time, energy, acts of kindness."

Unfortunately, the Better Business Bureau does report increased instances of charity scams during the holiday season. Experts advise those looking to donate be sure they are giving to a recognized charity, and that they have a good understanding of how the money will be used before donating. Websites like Charity Navigator can help ensure a donation is going to a legitimate nonprofit.

Coughlin says just like "buying locally" is important for the Florida economy, giving to organizations in your own backyard is equally valuable.

"We like to inspire people to give locally too," she says. "Get to know your community through the nonprofits that are working in it and very closely connected to it."

Last year Americans contributed $19 million dollars to charities, almost double the year before. The average contribution is $142.

More information is available at www.GivingTuesday.org.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL