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Giving Tuesday

Alexa Haigh, vice president of investor relations at United Way of Racine County, takes an “unselfie” that was posted to the group’s Facebook page as part of the national Giving Tuesday initiative. The movement seeks to raise funds and awareness for charitable groups.

RACINE COUNTY — After Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, there was Giving Tuesday.

The movement, in its third year, came near the beginning of what is the busy season for organizations that rely heavily on donations. After the post-Thanksgiving shopping days, Giving Tuesday served as a reminder of the many charitable groups raising money before the end of the year.

Several Racine-area groups got in on the Giving Tuesday action, which takes place largely through social media.

“It was good to provide exposure to our community and a reminder that Giving Tuesday is about the holiday season and giving back to the community, not just about shopping,” said Alexa Haigh, vice president of investor relations at United Way of Racine County, 2000 Domanik Drive.

Along with others across the country, United Way posted numerous photos — “unselfies” — on its social media accounts of people who displayed a message about why they support the organization.

While many groups utilize Giving Tuesday to raise money, United Way mostly promoted volunteering and giving back to the community in general, Haigh said.

The Racine Symphony Orchestra has participated in Giving Tuesday for the past three years, folding it into ongoing end-of-the-year efforts to raise money, Executive Director Bonnie Prochaska said. December is traditionally the busiest fundraising month, with many donations made before the end of the year able to be deducted on that year’s taxes.

Although they didn’t receive any donations on Tuesday, Prochaska said Giving Tuesday helps bring awareness to nonprofits such as the symphony, which relies more on donations than ticket sales to fund its operations.

The rise of Giving Tuesday

Nonprofit experts say Giving Tuesday continued its rapid growth, raising $46 million for nonprofit groups this week, according to The Associated Press.

That figure is up from the $28 million raised last year and $13.5 million raised on the first Giving Tuesday in 2012, the AP reported. Analysts said the number of donations was more than 296,000, a 53 percent increase over last year.

The initiative was founded in New York and has since engaged more than 10,000 organizations worldwide, according to the official Giving Tuesday website.

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