The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as Giving Tuesday, or #GivingTuesday online.
The day kicks off the charitable season, when many people open their wallets to share some of their time, talent and treasure with nonprofit organizations that do all kinds of good deeds.
Giving Tuesday started in 2012 as a global online movement and worldwide counter to the shopping frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Colorado Springs nonprofits and other organizations were busy Tuesday on social media promoting the national day with organizations like National Mill Dog Rescue and Catholic Charities encouraging people to donate. An anonymous donor pledged $45,000 to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs if at least 500 donors contribute any amount to UCCS. In Woodland Park, Habitat Teller hosted a fundraising campaign rally where they are converting a motel into a nine-unit condominium complex.
In the Colorado Springs area, nonprofit organizations say donations for Giving Tuesday are great, though they expect to receive more donations on the better-known Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 6. On that day, donations are partly matched by an incentive fund, giving the organizations an even larger gift.
Events like these are important for the survival of the organizations, nonprofit leaders say.
"When you look at the giving efforts of Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day, those are ways to get word out there," said Rochelle Schlortt, chief communication officer for Catholic Charities of Central Colorado. "We wouldn't be able to do what we do if not for those types of events."
She said that December is "by far" the best month for organizations to receive donations, in part because of events like Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day. Also, donations tend to spike the last week of the year when individuals or businesses make donations in time for a tax break.
There are many ways to donate.
A search of the site Colorado Gives.org shows more than 1,000 options in El Paso County - with larger organizations such as Catholic Charities and smaller ones like the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway Foundation, which hopes to restore street railways in parts of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. For pet lovers, there are more than 200 ways to donate in Colorado, such as Safe Place For Pets, which re-homes the pets of terminally ill owners. Military or veterans organizations have 34 options in the state, including the Peak Military Care Network, which connects members of the military with a variety of services.
As the word gets out about these kinds of giving events, donations tend to go up, Schlortt said. In truth, she said, organizations are happy for the help whether it be through one of these special events or any other day.
Gazette reporter Debbie Kelley contributed to this story.