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Here’s Why #GivingTuesday Matters for Businesses and How to Start Planning for Next Year10 min read

Dec 9, 2016

#GivingTuesday Matters for Businesses

In this busy season of sales and scrambling to buy gifts, #GivingTuesday – the Tuesday after #BlackFriday and #CyberMonday – offers a chance to pause and reconnect with the spirit of giving for both individuals and businesses. 2016 was the fifth year of this global collaborative effort, which harnesses the power of social media to bring together nonprofits, civic organizations, small businesses, families, and individuals to create change in local communities. This year, people on Facebook raised over $6.5 million for nearly 10,000 nonprofits through Giving Tuesday. While this day is mostly for non-profits, small businesses can also contribute to causes they feel create positive change in the world.

Giving Tuesday matters for small businesses because, as the Huffington Post reports, “Consumers vote with their wallets, supporting companies that demonstrate concern for employee welfare, community development, environmental sustainability, and human rights.” Corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns are becoming increasingly important to brand strategy. Consumers want to support businesses that are taking actions that align with their values, and two-thirds of Millenials want to work for organizations that have positive influences on the world, and half would forego a high salary to do work they felt was meaningful. Participating in Giving Tuesday gives you a chance to show your commitment to bettering your community and a chance to celebrate the ways your company has worked with that community over the past year.

You can make the most of your CSR campaign with Giving Tuesday. Did this year’s Giving Tuesday catch you off guard? If so, here are some ideas to help you prepare for #GivingTuesday2017.

Make your cause personal.

You don’t have to take on a huge issue; in fact, for small businesses, this is a chance to reach out to those in your local community and build bonds at home.

Create a campaign that connects your company’s products or services with a need in your community.

For example, a restaurant might donate food to a homeless shelter, or an office might donate excess inventory like computers to a school. You can even contact nonprofits in your area to ask what items they need.

Develop one powerful theme that will deliver a clear message and inspire action.

With so many competing messages crowding everyone’s screens, it’s important to stick to a central message. Develop a storyline to demonstrate your theme that is compelling enough to cut through the clutter.

Use incentives to maximize success.

You might create a company-wide challenge to see which department can raise the most donations, or your company might match donations dollar-for-dollar.

Engage through social media.

Use your social media channels to spread the word about your Giving Tuesday campaign. Encourage your employees to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Send out updates about how much money your company has raised for the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. Ask for feedback from customers about how they would like to see the company engage with the community and ask them to share how they’re celebrating Giving Tuesday. Social media offers a myriad of possibilities for communicating directly with your customers and communities to build both the support for your Giving Tuesday campaign and the sense of comradery that comes with uniting for a cause.

In 2015, Giving Tuesday saw $116.4 million in donations. Though we don’t yet know the total for 2016, it’s safe to assume there was an increase, as there was from 2014-2015. There is a demonstrable craving among consumers for ways to come together to create positive change, and Giving Tuesday offers a once-in-a-year opportunity to harness that energy. It’s not too early to start planning for how your business will participate in next year’s Giving Tuesday, which will be on November 28. Visit the official #GivingTuesday website to learn more.