If you have a mailbox, you’ve received at least one letter from a nonprofit organization asking for a financial gift by the end of the year. Why is that? Studies show that close to 50% of charitable gifts are given in the month of December. While charities need donations all year long, this trend is most likely driven by the fact that gifts to nonprofit organizations receive favorable tax benefits from the IRS. But while the tax benefits are important, it’s the more heartfelt reasons that compel so many to donate to their favorite charities.

Altruism is the unselfish concern for, or devotion to, the welfare of others. As humans we want to help others and we give because of our altruistic nature.

Regardless of your financial situation, helping others has a two-fold effect: helping someone in need makes you feel better about yourself. Some may say that’s a self-serving reason to give, but research shows that helping others who are less fortunate makes people happier. Seeing the smile on a child’s face when they open a present they weren’t expecting, or knowing our homeless community has warm food in their bellies because of your gift — there’s little that compares to that.

Giving Tuesday, an international day created in response to the consumerism that’s taken over the holidays, aims to raise awareness of this need. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are focused on buying material things — Giving Tuesday emphasizes giving back. It kicks off the holiday giving season and inspires people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

Nonprofit organizations wouldn’t exist without donations from the public. Nonprofits need support all year long — but we always get one last chance at the end of the year to write a check or make a credit card gift to better someone else’s life. Don’t miss out on that great feeling of giving this year!

Last year, more than 45,000 organizations in 98 countries came together to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Since its founding in 2012, Giving Tuesday has inspired giving around the world, resulting in greater donations, volunteer hours, and activities that bring about real change in communities.

We invite you to join the movement by making a charitable gift on November 28. Feel good about yourself and help change a life!

Give to the Greatest Needs Fund.