What Is Giving Tuesday and Ideas for Your Business to Participate This Year

As businesses escalate their preparation for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s another holiday that deserves celebration: Giving Tuesday. 

Started in 2012 as a fundraiser in New York, Giving Tuesday has become a worldwide charitable campaign. The holiday is an effort to combat the shopping season’s heightened consumerism and a reminder to spread generosity. 

While the day’s proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations, Giving Tuesday is a valuable opportunity for your company to get involved. 

Choose an organization that aligns with your business’s values and create a campaign around your efforts. Not only will you benefit your community, but you can lift employee spirits and engage with customers. 

Read on to learn: 

  • What Giving Tuesday is 
  • Why you should get involved 
  • How to get involved 
  • Ideas for Giving Tuesday

What Giving Tuesday Is

Frequently referred to as #GivingTuesday, the holiday falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States. 

Giving Tuesday began as an idea between the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, and it now takes place all over the world. As GivingTuesday.org states, “GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.” 

In 2019, Giving Tuesday raised $1.97 billion in the United States alone. That’s not including the hours volunteered or the acts of kindness the organization also encourages. 

Why Your Company Should Participate in Giving Tuesday

More than just a good cause, Giving Tuesday can add a lot of value to your company. 

It gives customers the chance to see what you care about or it can enhance your branding. If you run a sustainable t-shirt company, you can use Giving Tuesday to donate to the environment and reinforce your message. 

A charitable environment can also help increase employee morale. In a Project ROI study, social responsibility programs boosted engagement by 7.5% and productivity by 13%, and reduced turnover by 50%. 

The study also found that a giving culture can increase revenue by up to 20%. Research from Mintel found that 84% of consumers value a company that donates to charity, and 50% of customers would pick a company based on the causes they support. 

Giving Tuesday also empowers businesses to get involved in the community and expand their network. 

How to Get Involved with Giving Tuesday

As you gear up your holiday planning, don’t forget to plan for Giving Tuesday. There are several ways to participate based on your goals. 

Decide whether you want to connect with your customers, employees, or community on Giving Tuesday. Set clear goals, like raising a specific amount of money or reaching a certain amount of people on social media. Then, create a plan to reach those goals.

You can also get inspired by what other businesses have done in the past. 

Ideas for Giving Tuesday

Consider Multiple Ways to Give

  • Match donations 
  • Donate a portion of your sales 
  • Make it a volunteer day for employees
  • Partner with a nonprofit 
  • Hold a fundraising event 

Focus on Content Creation 

Giving Tuesday is ripe for sharing stories. 

Let your customers know why a particular cause is important to you by sharing a personal story in a blog post or video. You can also follow employees as they volunteer and share the experience, or host a question and answer session with the founder of the nonprofit receiving your donations. 

Discover Your Impact

Check back in with the cause you donated to last year and see how your dollars or time made a difference. Maybe your team spent time planting seeds, and the garden produced a hearty harvest. Or perhaps you donated to a scholarship fund that produced successful students.  

By showing people the impact you made, it inspires them to see how far their acts can reach.

Reach Out With Social Media and Email 

Giving Tuesday was created with social media in mind. The hashtags have expanded beyond #GivingTuesday to include #MyGivingStory and #UNSelfie. Check out Giving Tuesday’s complete toolkit for resources. 

Don’t forget to update your emails to your customers. Email campaigns are a useful way to reach people who might not see your social media posts. 

Generate User Content

You can also inspire your customers to perform random acts of kindness or volunteer their time. Consider holding a giveaway for anyone who participates in Giving Tuesday, and post the best submissions you get.

Unite for an Employee

Maybe you can focus your Giving Tuesday generosity closer to home this year. If there’s an employee in need of attention, consider holding a fundraiser for them or plan a special event. 

Not only will this foster team spirit, but your employees will know your company cares about them. 

Keep the Giving Going 

Giving Tuesday is only one day, but why not expand the campaign by a week, month, or even longer?

You can use Giving Tuesday as a launching point to establish a charitable culture. Consider setting up monthly donations or introducing a volunteer program. 

Giving Tuesday falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It’s a day where people around the world donate their time and money to help others. 

Your business can get involved by selecting a cause close to your values and promoting engagement from employees and customers. The day can be an opportunity for content creation, marketing, and establishing a culture of giving at your business. 

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Machielle Thomas
Machielle Thomas | Content Manager
Machielle Thomas writes and curates web and email content for marketing professionals, small business owners, bloggers, and more.

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