Local non profits pinning hopes on Giving Tuesday efforts

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)- Local non profits and charities hope shoppers opening their wallets for online Cyber Monday shopping are still in the mood to spend on Tuesday.

The infant room at Waypoint in Cedar Rapids. This non profit has set a goal of $5,000 for Giving Tuesday to help support local programs.

That's because November 28th is designated "Giving Tuesday."

The international day of giving didn't start until 2012. But, at least nationwide, it's starting to have an impact.

The total dollars donated to charities on the day after Cyber Monday in 2015 was $116-million dollars. Last year, the amount rose to $177-million.

The idea was to give a "jump start" to local charities and non profits to kick off the holiday season.

Some charities, like Waypoint in Cedar Rapids, have a partner to make Giving Tuesday even more successful. Waypoint set a goal of an extra $5,000 to help with the child care, homeless, housing services and other programs.

U.S. Bank has agreed to match all Tuesday donations, dollar for dollar, up to $2,500.

Jaye Kennedy, CEO of Waypoint, says better yet the day also introduces charities to new donors. And that's always important.

"When we're talking about fund raising we're also talking about educating people and about donors knowing what we do. So when we get a new donor, we know something is sparking them," she said.

Some charities using the Giving Tuesday money for regular programs and others set specific goals.

For instance, the Indian Creek Nature Center's Giving Tuesday effort has a goal of $10,000. That money would go to the Creekside Critters program to introduce kids of preschool age to nature.

Charity operators say Giving Tuesday may never replace regular fund raising efforts. But for many, it is a welcome boost heading into the holidays.