Giving Tuesday was introduced in 2012 as a day of generosity for individual donors. But in recent years, it has grown and evolved to include corporations as well. With Giving Tuesday – November 30, 2021 – right around the corner, ACCP reached out to three of our CSR partners YourCause from Blackbaud, CAF America, and Benevity for some suggestions on how corporations can leverage Giving Tuesday to both support their community partners and to encourage employee participation.
As a CSR partner, what tips can you offer for corporations to leverage Giving Tuesday to achieve their overall philanthropy goals?
YourCause from Blackbaud:
Utilize Giving Tuesday to bring attention to giving campaigns that you are already asking employees to engage with. Maybe you started giving campaigns in the fall and saw lots of engagement. Consider extending giving campaigns until Giving Tuesday to utilize the momentum and provide employees extra time to get their donations in before the campaign closes. All the added communication that surrounds the day can spike your donations as the campaign closes.
Utilize Giving Tuesday to create a burst of engagement for giving. We have also seen clients use Giving Tuesday as a significant milestone and engagement burst for giving. For example, a client has increased the matching gift to 200% for donations received on Giving Tuesday to their six nonprofit partners. Additionally, all donations made on Giving Tuesday to any other nonprofit and donations made through the end of the campaign received a 100% match. Whether your company runs a giving campaign or a year-round giving program, Giving Tuesday can be used to increase engagement.
Utilize the many resources from Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday has a communication plan with six weeks of strategy laid out for companies to leverage. Connect with your marketing department to share your progress externally about how many employees are participating. Collect stories your team is willing to share to continue engagement with employee giving.
Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to remind donors why they give – and this extends to the corporate giving space as well. Charities worldwide use Giving Tuesday to communicate with their supporters to solicit donations as part of a larger effort, and donors typically respond very strongly. On Giving Tuesday 2020, 34.8 million individuals donated $2.47 billion to U.S. nonprofits, representing a 29% increase compared to 2019 (Charity Navigator).
Companies and their employers may be tempted to give as usual this holiday season because they see their lives returning to normal. However, CAF America’s intensive survey-based research on the impacts of COVID-19 on the global charitable sector has found that much of the world is still in the throes of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects. The pandemic is still having a negative impact on the world’s nonprofits, and we encourage our corporate partners to examine how their philanthropy can deliver on further pandemic relief.
From our research, we know that the headwinds for civil society have never been stronger. As companies and their employees consider how – and, importantly, where – they will give on Giving Tuesday, they should keep this global impact in mind. Rather than remain in a reactionary pattern of crisis management, donors should be considering how to contribute to a long-term vision of resilience that allows organizations to weather the shocks of future disasters. With this in mind, we focused one of our surveys of charities on preparing for the world after COVID-19.
In our report entitled “Future-Proofing Nonprofits for the Post-Pandemic World” (Vol 6), CAF America polled 805 charities in 152 countries in December 2020 to understand the skills they have and those they most need to become more resilient in the face of future disasters or crises. Interestingly, we found that no matter the size of the organization or its geographic region, there was no notable difference in their capacity development needs. However, we saw that organizational management capabilities are needed to build resilience, including advancing DEI, strategic planning, and digital fundraising strategies. Specifically, three in four (75.60%) of 787 respondents indicated an interest in learning new ways of using digital technology for fundraising, and 61.25% indicated a need for better digital tools to connect with stakeholders.
This is just one example, and all of our insights can be found in the full suite of our COVID-19 reports. These reports outline a roadmap we hope will provide a path forward for donors, philanthropists, grantmakers, and funders to do more than give money but also to fund infrastructure, training, and to provide services to charities to create a stronger, more resilient social sector.
Right now, so many of us are “languishing,” combatting burnout or just generally feeling fatigued. This prolonged pandemic may make it especially hard for CSR leaders to feel like it’s okay to ask their people to get involved in corporate initiatives and to give what they can, especially after a big 2020.
But one thing we know for sure is that people are seeking a sense of meaning, impact, and purpose and they are expecting their employers to help them make a difference on social and environmental issues. So this Giving Tuesday, it is helpful for CSR leaders and practitioners to reframe this time of year from one of charitable giving to one of empowering impact and action on the causes that matter to their people.
How can corporations support their employees as they participate in Giving Tuesday?
YourCause from Blackbaud:
Remind your employees your company is committed to giving back. Giving Tuesday can serve as a reminder to your employees that your company is committed to giving back. We mentioned an example above from a client that increased the company matching gift for donations on Giving Tuesday. Extending company matching gifts to eligible nonprofits that employees are passionate about is a great way to support them.
Promote nonprofits that employees love. Look at your employee giving platform to understand which types of nonprofits employees choose to support. Are there any nonprofits that stand out as highly supported? Are there any surprises that might affect which nonprofits your company partners with in the future? Giving Tuesday is a great day to look at this data because more employees than usual tend to make donations on that day. Once you’ve identified the nonprofit with the strongest support, offer a double match day and/or volunteer events for that specific charity in the new year.
Use social media to connect. Take the time to sift through social media. Many employees used social media with company hashtags to tell friends and family about their Giving Tuesday experiences. Engage with those employees by liking and resharing their posts and stories. When you find especially compelling ones, reach out to those employees to interview them and learn the story of their Giving Tuesday activities. This will allow your CSR team to collect anecdotal data that may have been overlooked. Find more Giving Tuesday content on our website!
Giving Tuesday is a fantastic opportunity for corporations to encourage their employees to support organizations and causes they care most about. One of the key ways corporations can contribute to the spirit of Giving Tuesday is through employee engagement programs, such as opportunities to match their employees’ charitable gifts. Communication is critical as corporations prepare for Giving Tuesday. Employees will need to understand how to request a matched gift, which organizations are eligible for matched giving, and gift thresholds (if applicable).
Employees want to ensure they know which organizations they support are eligible for matched giving. Corporations should provide employees with more information about qualified charities, what it means for an organization to be eligible for matched gifts, and how to request new organizations for inclusion.
Similarly, CAF America has seen a significant number of corporate partners taking advantage of our Employee Engagement Funds. These funds allow employees to make tax-effective gifts to a fund designated for a select list of validated organizations or to support other areas of interest, such as COVID-19 relief work or select Sustainable Development Goals. Many companies will pledge to match donations made by employees and will run campaigns to encourage employee participation. CAF America has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies to establish these funds, engage with employees to ensure they use the fund to its full advantage, and see the results of their giving in real-time.
Giving Tuesday can serve as a wonderful occasion for corporations to provide employees with meaningful opportunities to support organizations and communities they care about most. Corporations can prepare for Giving Tuesday by communicating those opportunities to their employees and ensuring they have the proper mechanisms to support their giving.
The beauty of Giving Tuesday is that engages every person in a way that matters to them and shows that your company cares about what they care about. And with only 2.25% of all conversations during the holiday cycle dedicated to Giving Tuesday, corporations have a huge opportunity to elevate the awareness of the power of goodness on a global scale. And they can do this by getting involved and running campaigns for employees, customers, and stakeholders on this special day.
This GivingTuesday, Benevity is helping companies activate their people to do just “One Good Thing.” Whether that’s donating, volunteering, an act of kindness or even just learning something new. If it has a positive impact on you, your community, or a cause that matters to you, then it’s worth doing!
The truth is that overall this year we are giving less — so far, Benevity data shows that individuals are giving 19% less than they did in 2020. And arguably the need is just as great now as it was when we were in crisis. And if we are to prevent further crises, injustice, inequity, we need to be acting now, not when a crisis hits. Can Giving Tuesday reinvigorate our collective drive to come together as a global community and take action on the issues impacting our world? Even if just for one day?
For more information on Giving Tuesday 2021, please visit the website.