‘Tis the season for holiday shopping and charitable giving!
Whether your small business already has a philanthropic plan established or not, the official Global Day of Giving, also known as Giving Tuesday, offers a great step to giving back (specifically to nonprofit organizations and charities). No matter the size of your donation, even the smallest bit counts – and participating at any degree helps to raise awareness and can get more people involved!
So, what’s in it for you?
Fundraisers offer an opportunity to boost morale – as mentioned in an article by Time Magazine, research has been done that proves giving makes you more joyful. If you choose to get your small business involved in the Day of Giving, you (and your employees if you have any) will benefit from that experience aside from the recipients.
Aside from feeling good about giving back, people are increasingly looking to support businesses that are proven to be philanthropic. Job candidates also take into serious consideration whether or not a company has strong values around philanthropy. Give back, and you might just get the best talent you can find to join your team.
And if that hasn’t convinced you, there’s also research that proves after giving back, employees are four times more likely to willingly give extra to get their job done. It’s a win-win situation – get your team involved in community work and boost your company’s productivity.
You simply aren’t losing anything if you participate in Giving Tuesday.
Here are 6 things you can do to show support and participate in Giving Tuesday:
Use Social Media
This may seem underwhelming, but spreading the word is incredibly helpful. Plus, if you want to promote a fundraising event for Giving Tuesday, it’s smart to start talking about a few days in advance on Social Media so your customers can see what you are up to and participate depending on what kind of fundraiser you do.
In fact, you could also make your fundraising simple and keep it on social media. For example, you could tell your followers that for every like, share, retweet, etc., you will donate $5 to your local charity and that your cut off is $1,000. This is an easy way to get your community involved, promote the campaign, and simultaneously boost brand awareness.
You can also check out this social media toolkit to really bump up your Giving Tuesday strategy!
If you don’t have that much time or resources to plan a big fundraiser, keeping it to social media (and email) is probably your best option, as it is quicker to do with fewer logistics to worry about. You can send, via email campaign or a social page’s status, a link to a GoFundMe page that says something such as “Our goal is to raise $5,000 for Prevent Child Abuse America. Any donation amount counts, and we are glad to have you participate in Giving Tuesday!”
Collaborate with a Charity or Nonprofit Organization
What better way to raise money for an organization than to directly get them involved? This gives a real face to the fundraiser and an emotional component, which can help inspire people to donate money. Plus, by collaborating, you can double the audience you reach as the organization probably has a following of their own.
The extent of the collaboration can be up to you – whether you have people from the charity or nonprofit working with you on the fundraiser, or simply asking them to provide video content that explains who they are and why donations are so important for them. Say, for example, you are working with a homeless shelter – ask the people who run it to share what supplies they can get with monetary donations and how that directly impacts the community they help.
Reach Out to Vendors for Resources
You don’t need to go about hosting the fundraiser alone. Whether you host an auction or any other party with prize incentives, you should contact local vendors to see if anyone wants to donate a gift.
For example, if you have a favorite restaurant that wants to participate by co-hosting a fundraiser party, you could co-host a pizza night to raise money for the local K9 rescue shelter. Send out flyers (physical and digital) to invite your customers to the event and highlight what the proceeds are going to. Mention that it’s for Giving Tuesday, and that buying dinner on the specific fundraising night is an easy way to give back during the Holiday season.
Another strategy that has proven to be very successful is to get a matching grant from a partner or a major donor – this not only doubles the proceeds, but it also increases your fundraising campaign’s publicity (and the sponsors). Stuck on the type of fundraiser you want to do? Check out this list from the Network for Good.
If you do have a few weeks before Giving Tuesday, you’ll want to start the planning right away. At any point of the year, you can start strategizing – it’s never too early – but if you can, start making the phone calls and put the plan into action a few weeks early. Here are just a few things you should start as soon as possible:
- Pick a charity or non-profit you want to donate to
- Make a list of vendors you want to help you with the fundraiser (and then contact them)
- Gather all the support you need from employees, friends, and family
- Figure out the donation goal
One other thing you can start early is planning the layout of a donation page, which you can easily do with websites such as CausVox.
Use the Giving Tuesday Campaign Resources
As it is a global movement, there are a lot of toolkits and marketing material that you can take to boost your campaign. The official Giving Tuesday website shares a lot of logos and marketing material to make your campaigning easier. Add the logo to an email header so people know the subject of your email right away and grab their interest from the start. Then, use it to make marketing material for other social platforms or fliers to pass out around your local community.
You also want to make sure you register with Giving Tuesday to make it official!
Donate Yourself & Your Skills
Money is obviously super helpful, but it’s also really beneficial to any charity or nonprofit organization to donate your time and help. Whether that’s building a new community center, collecting items such as canned goods or toys for the holidays, or hosting a skill-building session (such as an intro to accounting), your physical presence means a whole lot too – and really boosts a sense of community and support during the Giving Tuesday time.
It may even be a good idea to invite a local center that helps at-risk youth to come to your office (if you have space) and offer them a day of play and other things they simply can’t get at home. Offering a safe space and a playful, uplifting environment is something a lot of unfortunate people need during the holiday season.
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