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By Elizabeth Murray

While "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" herald the start of the holiday shopping season, "Giving Tuesday," held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is increasingly becoming the face of the launch of the holiday giving season.

Actor Edward Norton is the co-founder of, a crowdfunding site that lets people raise money for the charity of their choice. Crowdrise's Giving Tuesday campaign saw a 91 percent increase in donations from 2012 to 2013, and the organization says it could bring in as much as $110 million this year. He joined TODAY on Sunday to discuss the importance of Giving Tuesday and how people can virtually see their contributions through

  • On how Giving Tuesday started: "Giving Tuesday was, I think, a brilliant response to the whole idea of the commercial shopping frenzy," he said. "It basically said the holiday season, in addition to being a shopping season, is a giving season."
  • On how Crowdrise is making this Giving Tuesday different: "We felt that people really like seeing in a tactile and fun way, what the impact of their giving is," Norton said. This year, Crowdrise worked to create their CrowdRise Giving Tower app, which allows people to see their donations in real time through a virtual tower. "Every person who donates to any organization on Giving Tuesday can see their donation on a brick on the 'giving tower,'" Norton said.
  • On why Giving Tuesday is so important: "We have big partners like the Red Cross and the UN Foundation, but there are also lots of amazing smaller organizations that really rely on the end of the year," he said.