The third annual #GivingTuesday is happening on December 2, 2014. Started in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, #GivingTuesday is working to institutionalize a day of giving back. According to a Guidestar report, more than 50 percent of nonprofits receive the bulk of their contributions during the holiday season. More than 70 percent of these annual charitable gifts in the United States come from individuals.
Organizers of #GivingTuesday hoped to create a day that would shine a spotlight on giving and help nonprofits reach an even greater audience during this time. They seem to have succeeded. In 2013, online giving was up for #GivingTuesday, more than 300,000 tweets were focused on the day, and the average amounts of donations increased.
The movement has gone global with organizations in several other countries creating similar initiatives. It has also garnered bi-partisan support in Washington, as members of both parties in congress have introduced House Resolution 761 to recognize #GivingTuesday.
Even though the majority of contributions come from individuals, corporations and CSR professionals have also played a role in #GivingTuesday, supporting contributions from customers and employees. In 2013:
- AT&T launched a social media campaign for Union Settlement Association, East Harlem’s oldest and largest social service organization. They provided a donation for every re-tweet.
- Microsoft offered customers who made a purchase that day a $25 gift card to donate to Microsoft’s nonprofit partners. They also offered a $250,000 match on donation to their partners that was met in 20 minutes.
- Google hosted the first ever donate-able Hangout-a-thon. For 12 hours participants were encouraged to connect and give to nonprofits by hearing about the work they do and from celebrity guests.
- CVS had their employees share their experiences volunteering and nominate nonprofits for 25 $1,000 grants.
- Remind employees of your matching policy and encourage them to make a gift on #GivingTuesday.
- Ask employees to tell a story about what your company’s community investment means to them.
- Encourage employees to use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.
- Announce a commitment on #GivingTuesday.
- Work with your nonprofit partners to develop a plan to celebrate together.
- Ask customers through Twitter and other social media channels to send “unselfies”.