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Giving Tuesday opportunities abound in the DC area

Neil Albert, president and executive director of the DowntownDC Business Improvement District; D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Bob Wittig, executive director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, at the D.C. community gathering for Giving Tuesday 2017. (Courtesy Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy)

WASHINGTON — Helping to make the world a better place is the inspirational theme behind Giving Tuesday, the holiday that follows the frenzied consumerism of Cyber Monday and Black Friday, and precedes the holiday gift-giving season.

Launched in October 2012, the socially tagged #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that encourages people to help others through gifts of time, donations, goods or voice, according to the effort’s website.

Locally, you can get involved on Giving Tuesday — and know you’re making donations safely — by referring to the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, which includes 200 organizations.

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“All of our nonprofits have been vetted and they earn a seal,” said Bob Wittig, the executive director of the catalogue. “So, if you haven’t heard of a particular nonprofit, you can make a [safe] donation because these organizations are among the best in the region.”

The groups listed in the guide are in Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

If you feel inspired to donate on Giving Tuesday, Wittig challenges you to find an organization you feel emotionally connected to, with a mission you believe in.

“Those are the kinds of organizations that you’re going to want to keep staying involved with, and you may volunteer [with] one day,” Wittig said. “Then, as you get to know the organization, you might decide to serve on the board of directors or do other kinds of activities with the organization to deepen your involvement.”

Beyond giving money or supplies, Wittig believes volunteering is a good way to give back because participants can select organizations that match their interests and tailor the hours to fit their schedule.

“You could just do it once a month, once a week — there’s all different ways you can give back,” Wittig said.

The 2018 Giving Tuesday goal is to raise at least $400,000 in the D.C. area.

Local nonprofit leaders and donors are holding a community gathering on between 11:30 a.m. and noon Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Downtown D.C. Holiday Market — a unique, outdoor, pop-up shopping village at 8th and F streets in Northwest. The community is invited to attend


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