Giving Tuesday is a global movement to “build a world where generosity is part of everyday life.” Many companies run unique campaigns during this time of year to encourage employees to get involved with the company’s values and provide them the opportunity to give back to their communities and the charities they care about the most.
Top talent wants to work with companies that positively impact the world, and Giving Tuesday can be a step in the right direction.
However, without the proper planning and experience, employee involvement in your campaign can suffer, resulting in poor results.
No matter what initiative you decide on for Giving Tuesday, here are common steps that most businesses take to ensure their campaigns are as successful as possible and connect your employees to your company culture through philanthropic efforts:
1. Learn about the Giving Tuesday movement
Before creating plans and talking to your team, learn everything you can about the movement. Understand the spirit of Giving Tuesday and clearly envision what you want to accomplish with it.
Here are a few resources you can use to get started:
- What Is Giving Tuesday and How to Participate
- GivingTuesday Data and Insights
- GivingTuesday Ideas for Small Businesses
- GivingTuesday Case Studies
Suppose you can’t articulate why it’s important to participate in Giving Tuesday and your vision for the team concisely. In that case, your employees won’t engage with your activities, and the ultimate goal of your campaign won’t be accomplished.
2. Plan in advance, delegate tasks, and set goals
Planning is crucial for your campaign success as it gives you a clear understanding of the tasks that need to be done, who will do them, and when. Plus, a clear plan will help your team and stakeholders stay on the same page across the board.
During the planning phase, make sure to:
- Take polls from your team to gauge their interests and availability
- Ask for volunteers to help you with the planning process to make your team own the campaign
- Set goals that you want to hit like a donation amount, participation rate, or total hours volunteered
- Write down all major elements of your Giving Tuesday campaign
- Create communication channels to share ideas and collaborate on the execution
- Use a platform like Bright Funds to connect employees with charities, nonprofits, and events happening in their area
People want to do good, and involving your team from the planning stage will ensure that your people are invested and eager to participate.
3. Partner With Companies in Your Industry to Increase the Impact and Visibility of Your Campaign
Do you have established relationships with other businesses/vendors? Find ways to work together for Giving Tuesday. Perhaps one business provides a venue, another provides food, and another provides entertainment. The more businesses involved, the more opportunity and resources you have to promote your campaign and multiply the benefits the community can enjoy.
Collaborating with other businesses will also help you scale the campaign’s promotion and increase the chances of providing an excellent experience for the employees volunteering.
4. Make donating and volunteering easy
Now that you’ve planned out the details of your campaign, you’ll also need a way for employees and participants to donate/volunteer.
Because we understand the importance of reducing friction as much as possible, Bright Funds helps you connect employees with local and online volunteering opportunities and give employees access to over one million global nonprofits across 224 countries they can donate in 130 currencies.
If employees are volunteering, offer volunteer time off (VTO). For example, Elizabeth Hicks, Co-Founder of Parenting Nerd, provides employees with VTO. She notes that “participating employees are granted a paid day off during Giving Tuesday week. They can select any day they like and volunteer with any nonprofit organization or charity of their choice.”
Elizabeth Hicks, Co-Founder of Parenting Nerd
5. Provide company matching to those that participate
Help further your employees’ impact by matching their donations and/or volunteer hours.
In terms of donations, it’s as simple as matching your employees’ donations. To make the process simpler, Bright Funds uses a straightforward donation process that can be used to automate donation matching.
For example, every time an employee donates $50 to a nonprofit, the company can establish a 3x matching rule, donating $150 on top of the $50 the employee donated.
For volunteer hours, set a dollar amount per hour volunteered (e.g., your company will match $10 for every volunteer hour). This will increase the likelihood of participation and show your employees that you value their time and effort.
6. Gamify involvement
Thinking of ways to increase engagement? Try gamifying your campaign. As an example, you can set milestones for reaching certain donation amounts such as $100, $500, and $1,000. As a team, your employees get a reward for every milestone you hit. Or create friendly competition between departments by rewarding the ones with the highest participation rate.
7. Promote Your Giving Tuesday Campaign Using Social Media
Start promoting your campaign as early as possible, even a month or two in advance. This gives your employees time to plan around their calendars to pick and ensure everyone can participate in the events and activities of their choice during Giving Tuesday week and day.
Send reminders via email newsletters, social media posts, and flyers throughout the office. If you’re extending the campaign to the public, make sure to let them know as well.
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday on social media and tag everyone involved.
You can also encourage social media participation from your employees to promote the events from their personal accounts and allow them to share the campaign with their friends and family.
Pro Tip: Create video content to promote the activities and dates, share your employees’ contributions, and showcase the overall experience on social platforms like YouTube shorts, Reels, and TikTok.
8. Share your stories once the Giving Tuesday campaign ends
Once Giving Tuesday is over, spend time creating an update describing your campaign. Include photos and videos and the impact they had on the community. Get quotes from your employees, the local community, and/or the nonprofit(s) involved. Then, share it on your website, social platforms, and email newsletters. Remember to be genuine and authentic.
Creating fun memories and showcasing them will encourage other team members to participate in similar initiatives in the future to feel part of the culture of giving and caring you’re building.
9. Reward and Survey Employees on What Worked Well and What They’d Like to See for Next Year
What did your employees like most? What could be improved? What would they do differently? What do they want to see next year? Have a survey ready that you can send along with a thank you note and a reward for their efforts. This gives you an opportunity to make Giving Tuesday better and more impactful as each year passes, and more people will join the movement if it’s aligned with what they care about.
Rewards don’t need to be monetary. You can use this chance to close the campaign on a high note.
A few examples could be:
- Offer one more donation in their name to the charities and organizations they’ve worked with
- Send some Giving Tuesday souvenirs
- A frame with all the photos from the campaign
- If you recognize a percentage of volunteering hours, give back the rest of it as a monetary reward for doing good
- Provide days off based on their participation
Ending your campaign with a positive gesture can do wonders for your relationship with the team.
10. Keep the movement going!
Hopefully, Giving Tuesday inspires you and your team to do more good throughout the year. Keep the conversations going and discuss ways your team can help out on a regular basis.
Brock Warner, CFRE, Partner at Broccoli, notes that “whether you’re a company engaging customers and employees or you’re a non-profit looking to boost engagement and fundraising, all rely on having a mindset that Giving Tuesday is much more than just one day.” He’s also seen Giving Tuesday campaigns be “a great opportunity to test new ideas and messaging. Promote that new DIY fundraising toolkit, or invite a new partner to the table to collaborate. What you learn on Giving Tuesday may very well inform a significant part of your following year’s strategy.”
Brock Warner, CFRE, Partner at Broccoli