“Giving Tuesday” Launched to Help Charities; Charitable Contributions Up in 2011

giving-tuesday-charityCharities, including several religious groups, reportedly raised at least $10 million online in one day this week as part of an effort called Giving Tuesday. Organizers encouraged people to donate or volunteer on that day as an antidote to the consumerism of so-called Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, charitable giving in the US overall was up in 2011 by nearly four percent. Giving had fallen off because of the recession, but it began coming back in 2010. Gifts to religious groups in 2011 remained the largest single category, but religious giving did decline a little. At the same time, giving to the arts, culture, and the humanities last year was estimated to have gone up slightly.