NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — After scoring shopping deals on Cyber Monday, many charities are hoping people will be as generous and donate to their favorite cause on Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday was conceptualized and launched at the 92nd Street Y as a way to kick off the charitable season and encourage people to lend a hand to those in need.

“It’s a day when everyone can be a philanthropist, whether it’s donating to your favorite charity, giving a coat to a coat drive or volunteering your time and people are doing it all around the world,” said Beverly Greenfield with the 92nd Street Y.

The ways to give are wide-ranging from coat drives to fancy footwear. Dress for Success, a non-profit which helps outfit people starting new jobs, has coined the day “giving shoes day.”

“There are a lot of non-profits and a lot of government agencies here and around the world that are serving communities of need,” said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success. “So if this is a reminder to people to get involved, to give back, to make a difference, that’s what Giving Tuesday and for us, giving shoes day, is all about.”

Giving Tuesday is now a global phenomenon that raised $117 million in online donations to charities in more than 70 countries last year.

“It’s been amazing and i think it has surprised us, but what hasn’t surprised me is how generous people are,”  the 92nd Street Y’s Executive Director Henry Tims told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

At the Y, Microsoft is aggregating online data to quantify the impact of Giving Tuesday, where people are encouraged to donate, volunteer and do random acts of kindness.

If you are thinking about giving back,  the Federal Trade Commission wants you to be protected. Experts say avoid any charity that refuses to provide detailed information about its identity or how the donation will be used.

Also beware if the charity won’t provide proof that your donation is tax deductible or  if it uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known organization.

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