Get started on 'Giving Tuesday' with five high-impact charities you've probably never heard of

Giving Tuesday, observed on November 30th this year, may be the perfect opportunity to contribute to your favorite charity.

(CNN)You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two intense days of discounts and deals ironically following a day of thanks. But don't forget Giving Tuesday, five days after Thanksgiving.

Since 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a day of heightened generosity when people give to their favorite charities.
"A lot of people look at Giving Tuesday as an opportunity to donate financially to nonprofits, but we really welcome all types of giving," Caryn Stein, Chief Communications Officer of Giving Tuesday explained.
      "It could be volunteering, it could be donating some food to the food bank, it could be reaching out to your neighbor just to check in," Stein told CNN. She also pointed out while her initiative is called "Giving Tuesday," the program encourages people to spread generosity year-round.
        "Everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts."
          There are official Giving Tuesday movements in 80 countries. On their website, the organization offers some ways you can participate this year.
          "It seems like that idea of connection and togetherness and community seems to resonate. And I think there are lots of reasons why people are craving that," Stein observed.
          "The power of the day is really this excitement that everyone around the world, no matter who you are, where you are, you're doing something on the day; and it really connects people to this bigger idea," she added.

          How and why to give

          "Now's the time to really contribute to the communities that you care about," urged Charity Navigator President and CEO Michael Thatcher.
          As a nearly two-year pandemic has isolated and displaced so many, Thatcher stressed the importance of leveraging community efforts to create a timely impact.
          "One of the ways of doing that is through giving, and engaging in community-type efforts," he suggested. "And that can be with volunteering. Now is such a perfect time for that."
          Charity Navigator runs a site called The Giving Basket, which enables donors to customize their giving across multiple recipients by "making purchases" similar to an online shopping experience. Participants can donate as little as a dollar or up to $100,000.
          As an added bonus, "The Giving Basket won't let you give to a fake charity," Thatcher explained.
          "The other thing that's nice about The Giving Basket is it allows you to control how much of your personal information you'd like to share with the organization," Thatcher noted. In other words, generosity without spam.

          Consider less visible causes

          For lesser known charities, monetary donations can translate into large impacts. In addition to providing direct relief on the ground, donations also help nonprofit employees continue doing good work.
          "Folks working in all nonprofits need to feed themselves and take care of themselves," Thatcher emphasized. "When we give to a nonprofit, we're maintaining an ecosystem that needs to be cared for. You've got to care for the caregivers too."
          For Giving Tuesday, you can support 5 lesser-known but high-impact charities. To donate to any of them, click here or the button below.

          The gift of sight

          Benevolent Missions International provides eye care in parts of the world where such treatment is otherwise unaffordable.
          Benevolent Missions International (BMI) is a nonprofit providing eye care to rural communities around of the world. The organization works with local officials to set up well-equipped medical clinics. BMI helps develop each site into a self-sufficient mission operated by local medical personnel and volunteers. Donations toward the organization help provide free healthcare services, life-changing cataract surgeries, training for healthcare workers, and medical equipment. The organization also dispenses free medication and glasses. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced BMI to pause their work, but the organization plans to resume in 2022. Donations help make the process easier.

          The gift of life

          Living Goods strives to ensure people have access to the healthcare they need to "survive and thrive.'"
          Living Goods combines technology a