By JOSEPH PISANI AP Retail Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Donations on Giving Tuesday, an 8-year-old campaign to get people to give money to charities, rose 25% from last year, organizers said. Nearly $2.5 billion was donated in the U.S. on Tuesday, according to estimates by GivingTuesday, the nonprofit behind the campaign. That’s up from last year’s total of about $2 billion. Giving Tuesday was launched in 2012 as a way to get people to donate on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, when people are already opening their wallets for the kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Charities and businesses use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media to spread awareness and seek donations.