25+ Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas

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Today, 93% of employees believe that companies must lead with purpose and more than 70% of employees are now demanding social responsibility for companies. If you don’t have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, Giving Tuesday is a great time to start. If you do, think about ways to expand your program during this important giving season.

Giving Tuesday Toolkit

Interested in a comprehensive guide to Giving Tuesday? Our toolkit includes ideas, resources, and templates to help you create a successful campaign.

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Giving Tuesday Toolkit

Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas

Here are some campaign ideas to get you and your team started:

1. Clean up a community

Depending on where you’re located, this can be anything from the beach to the park or a school. Provide your employees with the necessary supplies like gloves and garbage bags. If you have a remote team, encourage them to find a local opportunity. 

community clean up for giving tuesday

2. Complete a 5k charity run

This is another great option for remote teams since employees can log their miles and time online. Make it a competition between departments or ask employees to form their own teams. Winners could be rewarded with a credit grant or additional match for the nonprofit of their choice. 

3. Hold a food drive

Go a step further by matching a dollar amount per every item donated. Depending on the size of your team, you may be able to help multiple food banks. Items that are commonly given include dry and canned foods that haven’t reached their sell-by date. 

4. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

Unfortunately, the pandemic has only exacerbated food insecurity.i Food charities like the Isabella Community Soup Kitchen in Michiganii have seen a significant rise in the number of people in need of food. At the same time, the cost of providing meals has increased while the number of volunteers has decreased. Check with your local soup kitchens to see how your team can help.

5. Volunteer at an animal shelter

There are plenty of tasks to go around from walking dogs to cleaning cages to sharing photos of the animals on social media to help them find a “furever” home. Turn it into a family day for employees: some shelters encourage children to improve their literacy skills by having them read books to the animals!

children reading to dogs at an animal shelter for giving tuesday
Photo credit: Humane Society of Missouri
 

6. Visit care homes and senior centers

Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, says their company is “choosing to do a day of service for Giving Tuesday. All 49 employees (including executives) will be volunteering at local senior centers to help combat elder loneliness – something that was always an issue but has been exacerbated by the pandemic. [They] plan to be visiting senior care centers and spending time with the residents in person, but if things change due to COVID restrictions, [they’ll] do [their] visits via Zoom instead.”

Similarly, Patti Naiser, owner and founder of Senior Home Transitions, says that they’ve “seen first-hand how the elderly can be neglected by family during these times and feel lonely. This is why [they] volunteer to go out and visit multiple care homes during the giving season… from lending an ear to participating in their various hobbies with them, [their] employees are there to help reduce loneliness.”

Logan Mallory, VP of Marketing at Motivosity

Patti Naiser, Founder of Senior Home Transitions

7. Deliver food to those in need

With the number of seniors projected to double over the next few decades, organizations like Meals on Wheels depend on volunteers to help deliver meals to homebound seniors. You can also look into local opportunities to serve those with disabilities or those without a home. 

meal delivery for senior citizens on giving tuesday
Photo credit: Meals on Wheels

8. “Adopt” a child or family

Depending on the size of your team, you may be able to “adopt” a family or multiple families for the giving season. Your team can work together to fulfill their wish list, which usually consists of things like household essentials and toys.

9. Donate blood

According to the American Red Cross, donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year.iii The pandemic has caused blood shortages all throughout the country, so those that are eligible to donate are highly encouraged to do so. Compensate your employees with lunch and/or the day off. 

10. Create hope kits for the homeless

Host an office event to put kits together or go virtual (and compensate your employees for the supplies). Typically a hope kit contains personal hygiene items, clothing like socks and gloves, food, and water. You can also personalize them with a handwritten note of encouragement along with a list of local homeless resources. If you don’t hand these all out at once, keep the spare kits in the trunk of your car to donate later as the need arises. 

Morgan Dickerson’s team at buildOn is putting on a virtual version where employees can create kits at home, and through this service employees “will learn about the impact of homelessness, housing disparities and other systemic issues in [their] community. Kits are then delivered to a local service partner for distribution.”

Morgan Dickerson, Community Engagement Manager at buildOn

11. Write letters

Due to the pandemic, many are feeling more isolated than ever. Unlike a text message, a physical hand-written note is a tangible way to help alleviate some of that loneliness. Provide supplies to your team like envelopes, note pads, stamps, and pens. From there, they can choose to write to senior citizens, soldiers, veterans, inmates, and others who may need support. 

12. Host a lunch and learn

This is a great opportunity to partner with other experts in your industry to host a lunch and learn, and donate the attendee fees to a nonprofit. If you’re a marketing agency, host a “Marketing 101” for local businesses. If you’re a financial tech company, host an “Intro to Cryptocurrency” event. These can be structured as both in-person and virtual events. 

business lunch and learn for giving tuesday

13. Donate your services/skills

Every team has a unique set of skills! If you’re a photography agency, offer a free photoshoot and headshots for a nonprofit so they can better represent their services. If you’re a web development company, offer a free website to a nonprofit of your team’s choice. If you’re unsure of what to offer, hold a brainstorming session with your team. 

14. Fund a scholarship

After you’ve established the criteria and the deadline, you can choose to match any donations that your employees contribute to funding the scholarship. Ask your employees to be part of the committee that helps determine the final recipient(s) of the scholarship. 

As an example, Venus Griffin, VP and Associate Broker at Meybohm Real Estate, is announcing the recipient of their $10,000 scholarship for children of incarcerated parents on Giving Tuesday. Venus notes that because of her “own experience with having children with an incarcerated parent, she knows oftentimes these kids face obstacles to no fault of their own. [She] also knows the power of higher education in changing someone’s circumstances… With this scholarship, Venus is only asking for a letter from applicants; no grades required.”

Venus Griffin, VP and Associate Broker at Meybohm Real Estate

15. Hold an auction

Ask employees and/or local businesses to donate items for an auction. The advantage to partnering with other businesses is that they can help promote the event as well. Common auction items include artwork, travel, food, event tickets, etc. You can hold this in-person and/or virtually with proceeds going to a set of chosen nonprofits. 

16. Organize a raffle

Similar to the auction, this can take place both in-person and online. Employees will have the chance to win several prizes and a percentage of ticket sales can be donated to a nonprofit. Popular prizes include a vacation, cruise, a private club membership, home appliances, theme park tickets, electronics, movie tickets and gift baskets. 

17. Put on a concert or talent show

Whichever route you choose, admission tickets can all go towards a nonprofit of your team’s choice. Partner with a local venue who can host the event to help keep overhead costs down.

concert for a cause on giving tuesday

18. Host a trivia night

Similar to hosting a concert, partner with a local venue like a bar or restaurant to help keep your overhead costs down. Reward winning teams with prizes sponsored by your company and/or the venue itself. This can include an increased donation match or a credit grant to nonprofits of their choice.

19. Have a fashion show: “runway for a cause”

This Giving Tuesday campaign needs some planning. You’ll need to decide on a theme, budget, ticket prices, businesses you can partner with, the venue and the runway models. The theme can be tied to the selected nonprofit. As an example, if proceeds are being donated to a nonprofit that supports the environment, you can feature sustainable clothing. 

20. Create a pub crawl for a cause

This is a great way for employees to explore local bars with their friends and family members. You can also expand this to wineries. Have your employees reach out to see which bars want to be involved – the more businesses involved, the more people there are to promote the event! 

21. Scavenger hunt through the city

You could start with an initial clue and leave clues at each checkpoint, or hand out a comprehensive list of what each team needs to accomplish (e.g., find a restaurant that sources their ingredients locally). If it’s based on clues, the first team to find the final clue wins. If it’s task-based, ask each team to take a photo of the completed task as proof. For bonus points, you can match a dollar amount of every piece of trash collected during the scavenger hunt. 

22. Plan a sports tournament

Have your team take a vote on which sport they’d like to see most. From there, establish an admission fee for each team, with proceeds going to a nonprofit of your team’s choice. As an added bonus, create company-branded trophies to give to the winning teams.

23. Create a themed party

This can be as casual as an ugly holiday sweater party or as fancy as a cocktail party. Give your employees a chance to unwind and celebrate the holiday season while supporting a good cause! 

24. Have a used book sale

Do your employees have books at home catching dust? Collect unwanted books and hold a used book sale for your community. Donate your proceeds to a nonprofit whose mission is to support literacy and education.

25. Host a white elephant gift party

If your team is already planning a holiday party, add in a white elephant gift swapiv for a good cause! Participants will be expected to bring a gift for the white elephant exchange itself and a donation for a nonprofit. As a company, you can encourage participation by matching all donations. This is another great option for virtual teams

26. Run a gaming marathon

Do any of your employees enjoy gaming as a hobby? Your team can livestream an entire gaming marathon, encouraging viewers to donate for a good cause. A popular example is Extra Life which donates proceeds to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 

27. Sponsor and volunteer to place wreaths for veterans

Sean Sullivan, PR Liaison at Wreaths Across America says that “for Giving Tuesday, it’s all hands on deck for Wreaths Across America as [they] work to place over 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths at over 2,800 locations nationwide and abroad.”

wreaths for veterans on giving tuesday
Photo credit: Wreaths Across America

Download our Giving Tuesday Toolkit for the ideas, resources and templates you need to create a successful campaign.

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Jennilyn Weber

Jennilyn Weber

Jen is the Marketing Manager at Bright Funds. With a background in the startup and agency world, she's worked with over 250 clients in multiple industries to help grow their businesses through digital channels. She is passionate about climate change, cybersecurity, and education. She is also a proud alumna of UCLA, wife of a firefighter, and enjoys volunteering in her local community.