Giving Tuesday may only be seven years old, but the commemorative day now brings in upwards of $400 million for nonprofit causes just in online giving. It’s a great day to highlight your corporate philanthropy efforts and announce new ones—not to mention a good way to get your employees engaged in your corporate social responsibility program!
Where Giving Tuesday Started
Giving Tuesday began as a comment on the huge advertising and spending push behind Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Though numbers have been leveling out in recent years, American consumers spent $5 billion online in just 24 hours of Black Friday! In 2012, New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation launched Giving Tuesday to promote charitable acts and selflessness in the wake of high levels of spending. Thanksgiving reminds us to be grateful, Black Friday and Cyber Monday give us great deals on new stuff, and Giving Tuesday helps us remember those less fortunate than us.
For corporations, Giving Tuesday is a huge opportunity to engage authentically in a national conversation about giving back. But the growth of the day has in turn made this more challenging—how do you stand out for your philanthropy on Giving Tuesday?
How Do Corporations Stand Out on Giving Tuesday
With countless businesses participating in Giving Tuesday last year, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. You may not be the largest company, or your community may not know you yet for charitable giving. Despite these challenges, there are ways to differentiate your company and gain attention on Giving Tuesday.
Leverage Live Video on Social Media
One of the most successful strategies to gain live coverage is live video. Facebook, among other social media companies, prioritizes live content above static posts. If you’re looking to build awareness on Giving Tuesday, a Facebook Live feed with your CEO or other high-level executive updating people on the campaign you’re running or an initiative can gain significant attention. Tease the event prior to going live to build interest over a few days, and have some kind of hook to draw people in—a special announcement, undisclosed celebrity guest, or something similar. If you really want to drive interest, include an interactive component such as an AMA (Ask Me Anything) portion to involve your viewers during the live-streaming event.
Some of your best advocates to drive buzz are your employees! Incentive employees to share on social media through matching campaigns or other perks. Make sure employees know about the day and think of ways to generate excitement—even providing food the day of can be a great tangible reminder.
Start Early and Be Consistent
The best Giving Tuesday campaigns start weeks in advance. Remind people of the day a sit gets closer—you could even have a countdown on social media or in a central location at your facility. Hit on the key points of your strategy, whether that’s what organization you’ll be helping or how the day will work.
Boost Visibility for Your Nonprofit Partners
Many nonprofits struggle to get their message out. They are often under resourced, so anything you can do to amplify their voice for Giving Tuesday will go a long way! Share their social media posts, mention them in communications, or even have one of their team stop by to greet your staff. It will help them, fill your content calendar, and showcase your company values consistently.
Have Fun and Be Interesting
The biggest mistake you can make, besides not doing a Giving Tuesday campaign, is to push out a stale and boring message. Find ways to be unique and have personality. A lighthearted theme can make your emotional appeals go even further. Encourage your employees to have fun with the day!
How to Engage with Nonprofits
If you want to leverage you Giving Tuesday charitable efforts, strategic engagement with a nonprofit partner or partners is vital. Finding a focus for your program will keep your messaging clear, avoid confusion for your employees, and boost your results.
Make Your Giving Concrete
One of the best ways to connect people to a charitable cause is to show the concrete impact of their donation. This can be the number of meals it provides, the number of students it allows in a program, or anything else—but finding a way to show the tangible result of your giving will go a long way to give it context and significance to your audience.
Show The People, Not the Problem
People give to relieve suffering and help people or animals. As much as you can, feature the direct beneficiaries of your contributions. Show how your gift helps a specific person. That changes the story from an abstract idea to a meaningful connection, and will go a long way to boosting your message.
Keep It Simple
Distill your message to something that can be communicated in just a sentence or two. It can be as easy as this formula: state the problem, the way you’re helping to solve it, and the impact of that response. Try to get this down to one or two sentences—that will help you to capture people’s interest even in a short glance.
Reach Out Far in Advance
If you’re reaching out to a nonprofit partner the week before Giving Tuesday, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to pull off the planned and polished campaign that will drive results and interest. Being proactive will show your nonprofit partner how serious you are and will give you time to brainstorm effective ways to get your message out.
Giving Tuesday: A Great Opportunity to Brand Your Business
Joining the Giving Tuesday conversation will help show your organization’s commitment to your community, engage your employees, and produce meaningful content for your external communications. Planning out these efforts in advance will help you connect with local nonprofit partners for Giving Tuesday and illustrate why your corporation should participate in Giving Tuesday to management and other stakeholders.