How to Give on Giving Tuesday: What Businesses Can Do

Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement meant to encourage businesses and individuals to do good in the world. How people and businesses do good is completely open. It can include anything from a random act of kindness to donating to an important cause to hosting a charitable event. Learn how to give on Giving Tuesday, including ideas for businesses and resources to help you get started.

Giving Tuesday is a specific day each year, but your giving back doesn’t need to stop there. If Giving Tuesday is not approaching, we think you’ll still find the ideas in this post useful for doing good as a small business any time of the year.

Giving Tuesday

What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) is a “global generosity movement” that encourages people and organizations to give back to their communities. It was created in 2012 in response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days that emphasize commercialism and consumerism at the beginning of the holiday season.

Giving Tuesday has gained a lot of traction with organizations big and small since its inception seven years ago, with companies like Google, Microsoft, and Unicef joining the movement as partners. 

Giving Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend. For 2020, Giving Tuesday will fall on Tuesday, December 1st.

If you’re wondering how you or your organization can participate, we’ve got a few ideas!

How to Give on Giving Tuesday

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Donate a Portion of Sales

On GivingTuesday, consider donating a portion of your sales to your favorite charity or organization. Every little bit counts. You could donate a certain percentage of sales, or donate the profits from a certain product or service. Promote whatever you decide on social media, throughout your office, and through whatever means you have of contacting your customers. 

A donation can help an important cause while showing the world that you care about more than just your bottom line. The added excitement of GivingTuesday and the fact that you’re supporting a cause may even push your audience to make more purchases than they otherwise would have.

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Donate a Product or Service

How could those in need benefit from the products or services you provide? Donating a product or service can be as valuable as donating cash if the need is there. Nonprofit organizations have plenty of costs to cover. Your donated products or services could be of great value to them. A marketing agency could offer some of their services for free to help promote a charity or charitable event. Consider maintenance on headquarter locations, supplies needed in an office or out in the community, or promotional work an organization may need.

If you’re not sure how your business can help, reach out to some of your favorite charities. You never know what they may need. You can also open up possibilities on social media by putting out a call for charities and nonprofits. Who could use your donated product or service, and how will your donation benefit the organization, the cause they support, or your own community?

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Challenge Your Customers

Challenge your customers to join in the GivingTuesday celebration. Share what you are doing as a business and encourage others to find ways they can support the event too. Make it as simple as possible for your customers to join in. You could offer to match their donations or challenge them to make a positive change either individually or as a business. A positive change may be as simple as reducing plastic waste, showing daily gratitude, or a random act of kindness once a week.

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Match Employee Donations

Encourage your employees to give back and offer to match their donations. You can choose a cause that your whole team wants to support or offer to support the organization of each employee’s choosing. Whatever they donate for GivingTuesday, your business can match that contribution for double the support.

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Compete as a Team

Choose how you want to give back as a team and then make it a (light) competition within your office. Who can raise the most funds? You can compete individually or by departments within your business. How will your finance department fair against marketing or sales? You could challenge leadership to raise as much money as the rest of the team.

There doesn’t need to be a prize, but if you want some extra motivation, you could reward top fundraisers with a treat, a surprise gift, or an afternoon off work.

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Volunteer as a Team

Volunteering is an effective way of giving back. It costs you nothing but your time, and it’s extremely valuable to others. Volunteering as a team offers a chance to bond as a business while giving back to a cause of your choosing. It’s an effective team building exercise as it puts the whole team together somewhere outside of the regular office setting. It gives employees a chance to learn about one another outside of work, gives your team a break from the day-to-day grind, and it gives back to your community. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Make sure you choose a volunteer opportunity everyone agrees on and is comfortable with so that no one is left out. Try this for GivingTuesday, and if your team enjoys it, consider making it a regular activity, either once a month or a few times throughout the year.

💗 Learn more about Why Team Building is Important and How We Do It.

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Host a Charitable Event

Host an event where all of the proceeds go to those in need. Your event could take any shape or form. Do any of your employees do a lot of cooking or baking? Hold a bake sale or a community BBQ. You could hold an office open house that takes donations for a specific cause or ask that attending guests bring non-perishable food items as a donation.

Hosting an event is a lot of work, so if you go this route, you may want to pair with other businesses. The collaboration will spread the event planning and costs across a few businesses, and it will help you get to know the other businesses in your community. 

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Encourage Acts of Kindness In & Out of the Office

Encourage your team to participate in acts of kindness both inside and outside of the office. Prioritizing kindness in the office is good for morale and team building, and acts of kindness outside of the office will better your community. You could:

  • Pick up litter
  • Leave money on a vending machine
  • Give someone a compliment
  • Give your favorite book to a friend or coworker
  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you
  • Bring in donuts for your coworkers
  • Pack someone a lunch for the day
  • Mow the lawn for your neighbors
  • Pay for someone’s morning coffee

💗 Want more ideas? Here are 75 random acts of kindness ideas.

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Share Giving Tuesday Social Media Posts

The simplest way you can give back on GivingTuesday is by spreading the word. This costs you absolutely nothing, and it doesn’t take much effort to share a few posts. Use your brand accounts to promote GivingTuesday as well as the other organizations that are participating. Encourage your team to share information about the day online, including what others can do to participate. Use your contact lists as well as word of mouth to spread the news far and wide.

Don’t forget to tell the world what your team will be doing on GivingTuesday! Be specific and make it very simple for anyone to contribute to your cause.


Giving Tuesday Resources


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