You have likely heard of Black Friday, maybe Cyber Monday, but there's a new event on the horizon: #givingtuesday or Giving Tuesday.
The idea is to encourage the public to give something back on Tuesday, November 27.
Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission relies on charitable donations for about 70% of it's $2.5-3 million yearly budget. About half of that total comes during the holidays.
"For us, the last quarter of the year, we get about 50-percent of our operating funds so it's a very important time of the year for us," says Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission Executive Director Rev. Henry Martin.
The non-profit uses the money to fund educational and other programs throughout the year, as well as housing more than 230 people.
"They're not giving simply because they get a tax receipt," says Martin. "They're giving because of what the organization's doing to make the community better where they live."
Economists- like Centenary College's Dr. David Hoaas- say the whole community truly could benefit from a day like Giving Tuesday on one condition.
"If people divert spending away from themselves and give it to charity, really there's not a big economic push to the economy," Hoaas says.
Any monetary charity donations will bounce around the economy for weeks to come. So long as people spend like they normally would on holiday presents and give on top of that amount, it could give a small boost to the local economy.
"In economics, we call that the multiplier effect," says Hoaas. "Those charitable organizations are gonna use that money to spend on things. They're gonna feed people, they're gonna clothe people, they're gonna provide housing and shelter. That puts more money back in the economy."
It is unlikely, however, that Giving Tuesday will do for charities what Black Friday does for retailers. It's very new and hasn't gained as much attention or traction yet.
But there are some big names attached to the effort. Skype, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, and JC Penney- among others- have linked Giving Tuesday to their other, existing charity opportunities.
Some of the nation's biggest charities are also involved. The United Way, American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army are named as founding partners. However, this movement is pretty open asking for money, time, food, or other donations. Giving Tuesday organizers simply ask that you give.
For more information, visit the website www.givingtuesday.org.