AUSTIN, Texas — The idea was hatched just a few weeks ago around a simple observation: Americans have one day for giving thanks - Thanksgiving - and two days for getting bargains - Black Friday and Cyber Monday - so why not make it even?
Using social media such as Twitter, organizers set Tuesday, Nov. 27, as the first "#(hashtag)Giving Tuesday." They're asking people to donate money, services or volunteer time to charities.
Aaron Sherinian with the U.N. Foundation says his group was among the first to partner with the movement. It just makes sense, he says.
"This is a country of generous people. Generosity is in our hearts, so why shouldn't it be on the calendar?"
Having seen Black Friday take hold over a period spanning a generation or more and Cyber Monday take off swiftly in the Internet age, they expect the social media age to give the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving a new identity virtually overnight.
Sherinian says #Giving Tuesday will go viral.
"We give really well. We mobilize very well. So, let's use a social media reality and let's help make sure it's on the minds and the tongues - and probably more importantly, in the tweets and on the keyboards - of everyone we know."
According to #Giving Tuesday's organizers, more than 1,000 groups are promoting the concept.
Organizers are still seeking "social media ambassadors" to help spread the word. More information is available at http://givingtuesday.org