How Giving Tuesday is Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility

corporate-social-responsibilityHere's something companies nationwide may not realize: Giving Tuesday isn't just for nonprofits. Just because this is news to some businesses doesn't mean it is for others. Many for-profit companies are partnering with and participating in Giving Tuesday in some capacity this year.

This dedicated day of giving is changing the way we look at corporate philanthropy and promoting social responsibility alongside turning a profit. It's also very attractive for Millennials, who are more interested in working for companies that are socially aware and support an organization or cause. Giving Tuesday is just a part of the overall shift in corporate social responsibility. 

Driving Corporate Philanthropy in Different Direction

For many businesses, corporate philanthropy comes in the form of a big check (literally) at the end of the year to a national or local organization. Some, though, don't give at all throughout the year because it can feel overwhelming and isn't their top priority.

However, Giving Tuesday provides a great opportunity for companies of all kind to get involved on just one day of the year to do something good -- generally by involving employees and activating their customer base, local community, and, if they have them, global networks.

How Your Company Can Get Involved With Giving Tuesday

If you think your business ought to get in on this day of giving this year, check out the six ways listed below that detail how your company can get involved and make a difference.

1) Use content and social media to raise awareness. 

Many companies are simply participating in Giving Tuesday by writing a blog post, sending an email to their networks, and posting on social media to raise awareness for the day. Since this is only the second year of Giving Tuesday, many people are not familiar with the movement, so just talking about it is a big deal.

Giving Tuesday partners like Campbell & Company, Give Local America, and Jeffrey Byrne & Associates are simply using their content, websites, and social media channels to spread the word. The EHL Consulting Group is promoting Giving Tuesday in the city of Philadelphia with the hashtag #GivingTuesdayPHL. 

2) Donate proceeds of products and services sold.

Many companies are taking it one step further and designing Giving Tuesday-branded products to sell and then donating the proceeds to a specific nonprofit. Some examples:

  • XBracelets is offering 10-20% discounts on a variety of its bracelets.
  • Market Mentor is providing 100 small businesses with a free one-year membership to its community and five free sessions of marketing consulting over the phone.
  • Terrafin Consulting employees are picking a local nonprofit organization in Wisconsin to donate time, money, and resources to in honor of Giving Tuesday.
  • VolunteerHub is offering a 10% discount to anyone that signs up on December 3 -- the day Giving Tuesday falls on this year. 

3) Encourage customers to participate.

B2B companies, inlcuding HubSpot, are spreading the word about Giving Tuesday and encouraging their customers and extended networks to join the movement.

For example, Causecast, a corporate fundraising platform, is encouraging its clients to take part in Giving Tuesday. Also, Community Fund Enterprises, a company that works with nonprofits to display their fundraising projects, is also working with its partners to help maximize its Giving Tuesday campaigns.

This type of encouragement can be done simply on social media, but more effectively through emailing your customers and providing more information about the day and how they can participate as companies.  

4) Volunteer and donate goods.

Defining Sports Marketing Agency has a number of ideas listed on its Giving Tuesday campaign page, including giving away gently worn clothes, donating canned goods to local food banks, hosting a "Breakfast of Champions" and donating the proceeds to an organization, and auctioning sports memorabilia for charity. These are all great ideas for how you can give tangible items and fundraise for an organization in a creative way that is relevant to your company's work. 

5) Provide technology for nonprofit to use on Giving Tuesday.

Some of the most popular partners of Giving Tuesday -- including FlipGiveDouble The DonationGive.comIndiegogo, and My Charity of Choice -- are fundraising and donation platforms. Many are giving discounts on their services, offering lower donation processing fees, running contests between nonprofits, and just talking about the day in general.

Another interesting tech angle involves Playmob, which is taking a slightly different approach by creating an initiative around "Gaming Tuesday" by hosting a 24-hour, livestreaming event during which they'll be playing games, giving away prizes, and getting gamers to support causes they care about.

6) Provide matching incentive for a nonprofit.

If you want to spice up the idea of a corporate donation, make it a matching donation. This means that, as a company, you'd match X number of donations up to a certain dollar amount, so everytime someone donates, they are basically giving twice as much.

Of course, you can put a cap on how much your company is willing to match and promote it as "make your donation count twice as much" as some organizations did last year.

What could your company do for Giving Tuesday? How could you incorporate it into a program or project you already have established?

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