Giving Tuesday seeks to aid all types of charities and more business news

Donation box full of clothes and toys. / Getty Images/iStock/mixetto

Giving Tuesday aims for all donation types

In the past 10 years, charities have made splashy fundraising appeals and raked in billions in donations on GivingTuesday, which takes place the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

Last year, American donors gave nearly $2.5 billion amid growing needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation's racial reckoning. How much money will flood into charities this Tuesday is anyone's guess.

The giving campaign was launched in 2012 as a way to get people to donate to charity at a time when they were already spending money on the holiday shopping season. The 92nd Street Y, a community center in New York City, came up with the idea and developed it until two years ago, when a separate organization called GivingTuesday took up the mantle to organize the giving day.

Charities typically host fundraisers, events, and use the hashtag on social media to garner donations, which have increased throughout the years. But it's not a fundraising day - it's a generosity movement, said Asha Curran, the CEO of the organization that promotes the campaign.

Curran says people are gearing up to participate in ways that don't involve giving money. For example, she says more than 40,000 young people worldwide have indicated to GivingTuesday's youth-oriented GivingTuesdaySpark program they're doing "acts of giving and acts of kindness" on Tuesday.

Fed warns variant may slow economy

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says that the appearance of a new COVID-19 variant could slow the economy and hiring, while also raising uncertainty about inflation.

The recent increase in delta cases and the emergence of the omicron variant "pose downside risks to employment and economic activity and increased uncertainty for inflation," Powell said Monday in prepared remarks to be delivered to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. The new variant could also worsen supply chain disruptions, he said.

Powell's comments come after other Fed officials in recent weeks have said the central bank should consider winding down its ultra-low interest rate policies more quickly than it currently plans. They cited concerns about inflation, which has jumped to three-decade highs.

Yet Powell's remarks suggest that the additional uncertainty raised by the omicron variant may complicate the Fed's next steps.

"Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people's willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions," Powell said.

Delta keeps flights to Johannesburg

Delta Air Lines is continuing its Atlanta-Johannesburg flights, even though the U.S. has imposed new restrictions on travel from southern African countries because of concerns about a new COVID-19 variant.

Atlanta-based Delta operates three flights a week between Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Johannesburg. The airline resumed the route, which had been suspended for more than a year due to the pandemic, less than four months ago.

The U.S. government announced that it has begun restricting travel from South Africa, along with seven other countries in southern Africa, because of the recently discovered Omicron variant. However, the travel restrictions do not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The new measures ban entry by foreign nationals who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe in the previous 14 days.

The U.S. State Department is advising people not to travel to South Africa or the other countries with travel restrictions. Those with Delta bookings for flights through Dec. 31 can change their travel plans without paying a change fee, according to Delta.

Commerce secretary urges U.S. computer chip output

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said it's time to get "serious" about reviving semiconductor chip production in the United States as the global auto industry pivots to electric vehicles.

Raimondo will urge Congress to pass $52 billion in funding to boost domestic production of the crucial component and tout the administration's efforts to ease the supply chain strain, according to remarks prepared for an appearance at the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.

The ongoing chip crunch has left dealerships bare, forced car prices up and cost automakers an estimated $210 billion globally in lost production this year - a strain expected to ease over time.

"We're at an inflection point and we have to make choices," Raimondo told reporters ahead of the visit. "If we're serious about restoring American leadership in the global economy, we have to start by rebuilding our semiconductor industry so we can meet the demands of this moment."

- Compiled by Dave Flessner