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Nonprofits hope for successful #givingtuesday

By Jessica Arp, jarp@wisctv.com
Published On: Dec 03 2013 06:44:16 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 03 2013 07:59:00 PM CST

Coin worth more than $1,200

MADISON, Wis. -

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a new tradition, Giving Tuesday.

Organizers of the social media philanthropy effort hope to make a difference in the area, encouraging people to give online and then share their giving with their friends.

The idea is that after two days of shopping for gifts, people want to give back.

That even goes for the Salvation Army of Dane County that has probably the most recognizable in-person holiday giving campaign, their bell ringers. The local organization is hoping the online trend can help them, rather than take anything away from their red kettles.

"Bell-ringing has a lot of advantages," Major Loren Carter said. "We're in the public eye so people see us and even if they might pass us at this moment they may have direct mail in their mailbox where they can give or see something online that they can make a gift."

Tuesday the Salvation Army even got something they could never get online. An anonymous donor gave the organization a 1-ounce gold coin, worth more than $1,200.

But philanthropy researchers say the #givingtuesday campaign can be successful because of it's peer-pressure method.

"If I give I feel better, because I gave, and if I give and I get my friend to give, I feel even better about that," University of Wisconsin Assistant Professor of Consumer Science Anya Samak said. "If I see my friend giving and I don't give, I might feel worse, so this kind of self-interest motivates us to give when we see friends giving too."

The Salvation Army of Dane County says they're about 10 percent of the way to their $700,000 goal, which is about on pace from last season.

Carter said they did see an uptick Tuesday in the number of kettles with bell-ringing volunteers, perhaps an in-person Giving Tuesday benefit.

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