Bill Gates has taken to a social networking site to encourage people to support Giving Tuesday, a charitable movement based in the US.

The Microsoft chairman and philanthropist announced his support for the movement, which encourages people to give time and donations to charities on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, on his LinkedIn page.

The billionaire businessman, who now runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife, says that he was inspired to support the movement while thinking of all the gifts that arrive at his office from friends and business partners during the holiday season.

Gates says that at this time of year, he can’t help thinking “that the money spent on these gifts could go to people who need it more than I do”.

This year sees the second annual Giving Tuesday which takes place on December 3. Last year’s event saw significant increases in online donations to charities, and more than 50 million people worldwide were estimated to have taken part.

#unselfie

Participants are asked to donate time or money to one or more of over 2,500 charity partners of the project. Gates has listed his own four preferred charities.

They are DonorsChoose.org, which gives support to educational projects; Heifer International, which provides sustainable agriculture for poverty-stricken communities; World Vision, which supports the well-being and development of young people, and Save The Children, the well-established youth charity.

For more information, visit Giving Tuesday.