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Next week is Thanksgiving. This day of food and family is followed quickly by what many call a long weekend of overconsumption. Some shoppers head out after the big turkey dinner for rock-bottom deals, while others wait until the wee morning hours of Black Friday. Those who don't want to risk an elbow in the eye opt to max out their credit cards on Cyber Monday.
But for the past four years, the following Tuesday brought us back to our roots with a global day of philanthropy and giving -- and it paid dividends for nonprofits. Created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Giving Tuesday boosted online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving by an estimated 470 percent since its inception in 2012. It now includes 30,000 partners in 68 countries.
It's easy for companies to make a big hoopla over Black Friday. But fewer large American firms strive to lead the pack when it comes to its philanthropy-oriented cousin. The following nine companies are a few of the exceptions.
Starting Nov. 29 (Giving Tuesday) through Dec. 31, PayPal will add 1 percent to donations made through its holiday campaign and delivered by PayPal Giving Fund.
This year, eBay will introduce a new service: Gifts That Give Back. The American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, ASPCA, CARE, March of Dimes and the Nature Conservatory are on board for the charitable gift program. Shoppers can purchase gifts with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to the nonprofit organizations.
The grants, awarded on Giving Tuesday, provide much-needed funds to dozens of charitable organizations. Since 2013, CVS Health has granted $125,000 to 75 charities across the country through this Giving Tuesday campaign with an employee engagement twist.
Through the GivingTuesday Bitcoin Challenge, the company partners with the GIV3 Foundation, which helps Canadian nonprofits get to the next level on fundraising and stakeholder engagement. The donations, of course, are in bitcoins.
The site has raised $4.8 million and helped more than 131,000 youth since it launched in 2012, thanks in large part to donations made on previous Giving Tuesdays. This year the movement is going global, with Microsoft expanding its promotion of the day to 10 countries beyond the U.S.
The company will ask employees to nominate their favorite #GoBeyondGiving campaigns, and it will surprise over 100 campaigns with $1,000 donations on Giving Tuesday. Additionally, all GoFundMes started on behalf of charities will be part of the company's new partnership with PayPal Giving Fund, with over a million charities to choose from.
The products include sturdy utility tote bags and warm clothes that can provide much needed help in the winter months to vulnerable families in Africa, eastern Europe and Central America. This is the third year World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts, which sells purses, totes and home décor, have partnered for Giving Tuesday. In 2015, volunteer health workers in Burundi received utility tote bags, which helped them carry their equipment and keep medical supplies clean and safe as they visited remote, low-income houses for checkups.
"This Giving Tuesday, we are celebrating the women who embody the same tried and true spirit that we so value in our QVC entrepreneurs," Rachel Ungaro, vice president of fashion and beauty merchandising for QVC, said in a statement.
Where will you be donating this holiday season? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @triplepundit or share your thoughts in the comments!
Mary Mazzoni, Senior Editor, has written for TriplePundit since 2013. She is also Managing Editor of CR Magazine and the Editor of 3p’s Sponsored Series. Mazzoni’s recent work can be found in Conscious Company, AlterNet and VICE’s Motherboard. She is based in Philadelphia.