Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday where nonprofits run fundraising campaigns to increase holiday donations. The event is only 6 years old, but it’s grown a lot in that time.
In 2012, total contributions stood at just $12 million; by 2017, they reached $274 million.¹ The difference, an increase of 2,283 percent, is testament to a shift we’re seeing in society where people – consumers, businesses, and individuals – focus more on giving back and making a positive impact.
That shift is also driving an increase in corporate responsibility (CR). Today, 78 percent of employees want to be active in CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives, which is driving businesses to get more involved in philanthropy and social impact. The more involved businesses become, the more likely they are to engage employees and improve brand perception.
Leveraging Giving Tuesday for Corporate Responsibility Initiatives
Since Giving Tuesday is already a recognized, growing event, many businesses are now including it in their CR programs. By getting employees involved in Giving Tuesday campaigns, businesses can increase engagement and grow their CR program – and its ROI – through an initiative that employees are already comfortable with.
As with all CR initiatives, knowing how to plan and execute a successful Giving Tuesday drive is key. In this article, we’ll give you four ways to engage employees and maximize their participation.
1. Give Employees Time to Prepare
Statistics show that people donate more during the giving season at the end of the year. That makes Giving Tuesday an ideal time to engage your employees in CR campaigns, but it doesn’t mean your employees’ contributions are guaranteed.
Your employees will be busy leading up to Giving Tuesday. Many will have spent a lot of time and money on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday; others will be looking forward to the year’s end.
To make sure employees are ready to contribute, announce your campaign in advance so they have a chance to prepare. This will increase the number of participants, helping you get more (and bigger) donations to increase your impact.
2. Remind People About Giving Campaigns
Giving Tuesday campaigns are a product of the digital age. #GivingTuesday, which trends on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each year, is a key reason for the event’s rapid growth.
Take advantage of Giving Tuesday’s digital relevancy by reminding people about the campaign through internal and external digital channels. Here are some of the methods you can use:
- Announce your campaign in closed employees Facebook and messenger groups like Slack or Microsoft Teams.
- Consistently remind employees about Giving Tuesday initiatives through internal productivity apps including calendars and Basecamp.
- Provide e-mail and newsletter reminders in the weeks leading up to your campaign.
To make your reminders more effective, include more than just your campaign and its date. Highlight corporate donation plans, employee matching gift programs, and volunteering efforts as well. These programs provide incentives that help employees see that your organization is committed to making a positive impact, which helps get employee buy-in.
3. Put Employees in Control
Giving employees a say in what your Giving Tuesday campaigns are and the charities they benefit is a powerful way to increase engagement. Not only can employees choose a charity that fits their beliefs, they also feel as though your business is taking their needs into account, which can help build a long-term relationship that increases employee retention. A few ways to put employees in control of Giving Tuesday campaigns are:
- Holding an employee vote to determine which charity your business benefits on Giving Tuesday each year.
- Using your workplace giving software to provide individual giving accounts where employees can choose the charity they want to benefit – even if those charities are different than your corporate campaign.
- Encouraging employees to launch Giving Thursday micro-campaigns that amplify your impact (more on this below).
4. Facilitate Micro-Campaigns and Crowdfunding
Many employees are happy to raise money from their family, friends, co-workers and others who share in their desire to benefit different causes. Corporate philanthropy tools, or philantech, makes this possible by providing crowdfunding opportunities ahead of and during Giving Tuesday. These “micro-campaigns” are typically smaller than your corporate donations, but they’re incredibly effective at engaging employees and amplifying impact.
Employees can launch crowdfunding campaigns that they promote via email, text, or social media to increase awareness and amplify their impact. Businesses can leave crowdfunding completely in the hands of employees, or they can choose to match a percentage of the donations to further encourage employees to get involved.
Extend Corporate Responsibility and Employee Engagement Efforts Beyond Giving Tuesday
Giving Tuesday is a prime opportunity to engage employees in corporate responsibility efforts by using a familiar event to get them involved. But Giving Tuesday isn’t where your CR program should end.
The shift to a more socially and environmentally conscious society is ongoing, with increasing effects on both your employees and your consumers. Workplace giving statistics show that two-thirds of employees won’t work for a company that doesn’t have strong CR commitments. And consumers are regularly choosing to spend more with socially and environmentally conscious companies.
Making CR initiatives a key element of your business strategy year-round is essential to keep up with rising expectations from staff and customers. So view Giving Tuesday campaigns as an opportunity to get new participants in the door, but keep them engaged with corporate philanthropy, employee matching gift programs, volunteering, and other CR initiatives throughout the year. You’ll see the ROI in increased employee engagement, retention, and sales.