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Giving Tuesday: SHARE Omaha guides charitable donations to local organizations

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 3:48 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - If you’ve been anywhere near your inbox or social media accounts, you’re well aware it’s Giving Tuesday.

But how do you know where your donations will have the most impact — or whether the organization asking for your financial support is legitimate?

Starting with a trusted local source is a good start.

While Giving Tuesday is a national charitable movement that’s been around since 2012, it’s become of even greater importance to local nonprofits in recent years, even without factoring in the COVID-19 pandemic. With the big Omaha Gives push in May — just ahead of the end of the fiscal year for many nonprofits — no longer in play, local nonprofits rely on big fund drives like Giving Tuesday to help them through the year.

SHARE Omaha took the reins on the local Giving Tuesday push, working with Pottawattamie County Community Foundation to urge organizations to use localized social hashtags #GivingTuesday402 (on Twitter and Instagram) and #GivingTuesday712 (on Twitter and Instagram) while providing a donation portal for organizations to share with their supporters.

This year, SHARE Omaha reported having 600 Omaha-metro nonprofits taking part, hoping to top last year’s $3.16 million in donations collected for Giving Tuesday.

If you already know who you want to support, you can jump straight into the SHARE Omaha site and look up your favorite organization in their searchable listings. Or, if you don’t know what organization to give to, you can also search by cause.

And if you don’t want to make a monetary donation, SHARE Omaha lets local organizations post shopping lists of the things they need, or help connect you with those groups looking for volunteers.

If you want to dig a little deeper on any particular organization, you can verify with the IRS that they file their taxes as a 501(c)3, which means they have tax-exempt status — and that your charitable contribution is tax-deductible.

You can also search a popular national nonprofit directory, like GuideStar. While the entries there are maintained by the organizations themselves, GuideStar is such a widely used verification tool that many savvy organizations are very motivated to keep it current — the site flags those organizations that might not be in compliance or up to date on their information.

And if you miss Giving Tuesday, you can still be of help to local organizations — you will still have all of December to get your 2021 deductible donations sent in. If you’re an Amazon shopper, you can also shuffle a few cents of every purchase you make all year long to the organization of your choice by linking them to your cart via Amazon Smile. The only catch is that they have to registered to receive the donations, but many local organizations have been there for some time.

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