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After Cyber Monday frenzy, Giving Tuesday taps the quiet impulse to give (+video)

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“My blue sky idea is that one day you will report that Giving Tuesday eclipsed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” he says with a laugh, “Why can’t we aspire to that?”

According to a new Harris Interactive Poll commissioned by World Vision, some 83 percent of Americans do aspire to donate to charity, yet when asked the more practical question of will they give this holiday season, the number actually dropped from 51 percent in 2011 to 45 percent this November.

This turning away from charity is due in part to the economy, which is why it's even more important to make giving as painless as possible, says Melody Badgett, director of marketing for 1% for the Planet (FTP), a coalition of some 1,200 companies in 45 countries that donate 1 percent of their annual sales to FTP member charities. She notes that many of their firms are touting the day with special incentives to promote giving from consumers, such as providing a way for consumers to make donations when they make purchases. She notes the entire company is Tweeting throughout the day, adding, “it’s just a great way to engage both customers and employees.”

The biggest obstacle, even for the most cheerful giver, is often knowing which charities are the most effective, points out Tori Hogan, author of “Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey Into the Realities of International Aid."

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