Beginning in 2012, Giving Tuesday has grown to be the biggest giving day of the year for nonprofit organizations, generating upwards of $2.4 billion in donations in 2020. Strategically falling after the two biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday redirects the spending frenzy towards more altruistic motivations like supporting the causes we want to see thrive in the new year.
While Giving Tuesday has traditionally focused on individual donors, companies have taken on an important role over the past few years that have directly contributed to the holiday’s tremendous growth year-over-year.
In partnering with nonprofits, offering donation matches, hosting cause marketing promotions, and getting creative with social media campaigns, companies have been instrumental in driving engagement, amplifying reach, and escalating donations for nonprofits in need.
Why would a company choose to participate in a giving holiday targeted towards individual giving?
There are many benefits of corporate philanthropy that when approached strategically, can positively impact the world, and their bottom line.
While we may want to believe that companies should give out of the goodness of their heart, let’s be real, that’s not even true for individuals like you and me. The tax breaks, community kinship, and warm and fuzzy feelings that keep us coming back year after year aren’t so different from the motivations of a company.
A few benefits that companies may see from their impact initiatives include:
- Developing a positive rapport within their community
- Nurturing a loyal audience of customers by aligning their values
- Staying top of mind as we approach the holiday buying season
- Leveraging the popularity and hype of the holiday to gain exposure to new potential customers
- Engaging their employees by supporting causes they care about and reinforcing brand values, and pride in belonging
- and more….
Whether your role as a changemaker sits within a for-profit or nonprofit organization, understanding the goals of your partner organization is the single most important factor in building mutually beneficial partnerships. It also lends context to the creativity and direction that define a truly successful campaign.
Here are five creative examples of how companies have partnered with nonprofits to support a wildly impactful Giving Tuesday for both parties.
The Baltimore Ravens x Maryland Food Bank
The Baltimore Ravens partner with Maryland Food Bank for the entire month of November, encouraging their fans to make an online donation to combat food insecurity and support COVID-19 relief efforts. This long-standing partnership of twenty-six years gives fans the chance to win tickets to a Ravens vs Rams game if they donate through an online portal. By pairing generosity with a high-value reward and engaging their enthusiastic fanbase, the Baltimore Ravens have a winning formula for big giving.
- After 26 years of partnership, the Baltimore Ravens are the largest contributor to the Maryland Food Bank and have built a reputation with fans who now look forward to helping #FeedtheFlock every year.
- As a sports team, nurturing a strong sense of belonging and community within their local area helps to reinforce loyalty to their team and their positioning as an important force for good within that community.
- The whole organization gets involved in giving. The team also does #communitymondays after every win to give back to their community. We love to see it!
- In 2020, the Ravens organization packed 25,000 meals to their community with all the holiday staples.
U.S. Bank x VolunteerMatch
For the 5th year in a row, U.S. Bank will be partnering with VolunteerMatch for their #GiveTime campaign to encourage volunteerism on Giving Tuesday. Each year, U.S. Bank employees offer a cumulative total of thousands of hours to hands-on volunteering and board services to advance the missions of hundreds of community organizations. This workplace giving campaign encourages and inspires U.S. Bank employees to get involved, and VolunteerMatch makes it easy to contribute by promoting opportunities and guides.
- Social impact isn’t just about fundraising or donations. Time is so valuable and nonprofits always need all hands on deck!
- U.S Bank knows that doing good can be contagious! Utilizing thousands of hours of volunteer time from internal teams is a great way to build company culture and reinforce values.
Nordstrom Rack x Big Brother Big Sister of America
In 2019, Nordstrom landed their first long-time partnership with Big Brother Big Sister of America to support families in their communities. Big Brother Big Sister has paired mentors with children in need for over 100 years, creating over 2 million matches with more than 150,000 bigs and littles currently serving. To kickstart their partnership, Nordstrom Rack donated $100,000 to the charity and also matched employee contributions, incentivizing and maximizing donations. Customers can also donate directly to Big Brother Big Sister in their local Nordstrom Rack and 100% of the amount will go to the organization.
- Nordstrom Rack’s values focus on care for kids and families, so this partnership aligns perfectly with their message! It’s important to find a partnership that shares your brand’s values and goals.
- It’s always preferred to send 100% of customer donations to the nonprofit in need.
- Since 2019, Nordstrom Rack and their customers have donated over $1 million for Big Brother Big Sister.
Stella & Chewy x Oregon Humane Society
Stella & Chewy, a premium and natural dog food company, donated more than $250,000 worth of dog food to the Oregon Humane Society in 2020. The donation of 3,336 bags was equal to 417,000 meals for dogs during the holiday and winter season. The Oregon Humane Society currently has about 500 pets in its care and helps 11,000 pets find new homes every year. Stella & Chewy will also be giving out bags of food at the Oregon Humane Society’s Giving Tuesday pet food bank, who provides pet food to families in need, including those going through hardships due to the pandemic. They also assisted by helping animals that were displaced from the West Coast fires.
- Stella & Chewy extended their partnership with the Oregon Humane Society by donating food for sheltered dogs and families in need. They reacted to timely crises and adjusted their engagement activities accordingly.
- Stella & Chewy have been long-time advocates for helping animals and rescue organizations. Since their start, they have donated more than 1.5 million meals to shelter animals and covered adoption fees for over 400 senior pets.
- With Stella & Chewy’s 73,000-pound donation of pet food, it valued at a $250,000 donation.
Between workplace giving campaigns, product proceeds, time and talent, gift matching, and item donations, there are many ways for companies to show up on #givingtuesday.
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