What comes after Black Friday and Cyber Monday? #GivingTuesday, of course! It’s an opportunity for brands and consumers to kick off the holiday season with good will and purpose. #GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. With the support of consumers around the world, campaigns activated by brands and organizations on this year’s #GivingTuesday raised nearly $46 million for nonprofits globally. With its increased popularity, #GivingTuesday has created a global conversation about how brands and consumers can give back to make a positive impact.
The Business + Social Purpose team would like to share best practices and examples from #GivingTuesday 2014 to show how a company’s significance is increasingly influenced by its ability to integrate social value into its business. Following are the top five trends brands employed during this global, digital donation campaign, including some from Edelman clients.
1. Engage your employees from the get-go: gather the voices of your employees to determine how to allocate funds on #GivingTuesday.
This year, CVS Health* used #GivingTuesday to recognize the volunteer spirit of their employees, as well as the impactful work of community-based organizations. CVS asked their employees to share their personal stories of volunteering, as well as nominate a local charity to receive a #GivingTuesday grant from the CVS Health Foundation. From these nominations, CVS chose 50 nonprofits to receive a total of $100,000 in grants as part of CVS’s #GivingTuesday initiative.
2. Strategically select nonprofit partners that align with brand values.
Southwest* is a company that believes #GivingTuesday should be year-round, but nevertheless joined the global movement this year and aligned their giving with what they value as a business: people and the planet. This #GivingTuesday, Southwest strategically selected 10 nonprofits that are meaningful to the company, donating $2,500 to each, ranging from programs supporting veterans to conserving the planet and education. They even encouraged travelers to show their generosity by lending a hand or giving a drink ticket to a seatmate.
3. Differentiate your efforts by promoting the use of a hashtag that is custom to your initiative, in addition to #GivingTuesday.
As part of an ongoing partnership with Conservation International, HP* elevated the power of the hashtag to generate donations for its partner’s new campaign, Nature is Speaking. The campaign is aimed at raising awareness that people need nature in order to survive. For each use or retweet of the custom hashtag #NatureIsSpeaking on Tuesday, HP has committed to donating $1 per tweet.
4. Focus all communications on a single initiative or program.
Focusing solely on a single initiative can be a great way for organizations to stand out and to rally support for their cause. Aligning with their partner Save the Children, JOHNSON’S®* launched its new charitable platform “More Hands, More Hearts” to support the happy and healthy development of babies through the donation of essential resources, including JOHNSON’S® baby care kits and a special grant. JOHNSON’S® encouraged others to contribute to the cause by joining Jennifer Hudson and its own employees in creating baby care kits for families in need and generating further support via social media with #MoreHandsMoreHearts.
5. Go with the flow. Embrace the trends.
All brands want differentiation when it comes to philanthropic initiatives, but sometimes riding the big trend wave is the best bet. Playing off the ‘selfie’ craze, the #UNselfie challenged consumers to show their support for #GivingTuesday by posting photos and videos of themselves with evidence of how they’re giving back. Thousands have tweeted using the hashtag to show their support of worthy causes this year and to encourage others to do the same.
How did you participate in #GivingTuesday?