As the dust settles on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is the day to give something back.
More than 1,400 charities and businesses are joining the global grassroots movement known as #GivingTuesday, and Scottish charities are hoping to be among those to capitalise.
Research by the Charities Aid Foundation, which is organising #GivingTuesday in the UK, suggests that more than half of people (53 per cent) agree that giving to charity makes them feel happy, but only 41 per cent say that shopping in the sales makes then feel happy.
Hannah Terrey, head of policy and campaigns at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “It’s staggering that the Black Friday shopping frenzy has engulfed our high streets, email inboxes and web browsers.
“We all like a bargain, but there’s more to life than sales, so many people want a chance to give something back, which is why we are encouraging people to pause, take a breath and join in. #GivingTuesday has grown into a massive international grassroots movement, which simply asks people to do one thing for a cause they care about on 1 December – whether it’s giving a bit of time in the community or talking to friends and family about a issue close to their heart.”
Nearly a third of people (29 per cent) have admitted they waste money on Black Friday, with 19 per cent of 25-34 year olds saying that in the past they had not used or kept something they bought on Black Friday.
The Populus poll of 2,118 adults found that more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of people in the UK now think that Christmas has become too materialistic.
Since #GivingTuesday was created in the United States in 2012, it has become a global movement with more than 30,000 partners in more than a dozen countries worldwide.
A whole host of celebrities are also taking part this year including former Doctor Who actor David Tennant.
The UK movement hopes to build on the success of 2014, where #GivingTuesday trended on Twitter for 11 hours, had more than 29,000 mentions and over 2,500 Tweets per hour.
Visa card donations were up 10 per cent compared to 2013 (when there was no #GivingTuesday in the UK), equating to £2,500 donated per minute, and fundraising website JustGiving reported a 45 per cent increase in donations on previous years.
In Scotland, those taking part include Paul Reddish, chief executive of Project Scotland, who is sporting a pink tutu and offering dances for cash throughout the day.
Conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland, meanwhile is also hoping for a major boost.
The trust cares for 188,000 acres of countryside, many miles of coastline, historic castles, palaces and houses, gardens and even the place where one of the world’s best-loved stories – Peter Pan – is said to have been dreamt up by the author JM Barrie.
In a letter to 40,000 Trust members, charity chief executive Simon Skinner said: “Although time stands still for the ever-young Peter Pan this is most certainly not the case for our properties. Scotland’s heritage needs to be protected every minute of every day.
“There is no ‘magical solution’ to protecting Scotland’s heritage. It is incredibly hard work and takes a lot of time, effort and commitment – and funds.”
It costs around £50 per minute at present just to keep the National Trust for Scotland’s heritage treasures in their current condition, protected from marching mini-beasts that could ravage delicate textiles, torrential rain and floodwaters that wash away paths and overwhelm gutters and even light itself, which damages precious paintings and furniture.
The “I’m in for the future” appeal raises vital funds to ensure that the treasured places in the charity’s care can be maintained now and for future generations. The campaign aims to raise £150,000.
Funds raised from this appeal will go towards vital conservation work across the Trust, such as repairs to the Glenfinnan Monument in Lochaber.
The monument, which commemorates the 1745 Jacobite rebellion and which has come to greater attention recently via the TV show Outlander, is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year has been ravaged by the elements, standing on the shore of Loch Shiel. Around £160,000 is needed to enable the charity to carry out important repairs.