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5 Examples of Badass Giving Tuesday Campaigns in 2021

On the biggest giving day of the year, these companies took their impact to the next level with some of the most innovative and charitable Giving Tuesday campaigns to date.

by Gwen Battis   •   December 21, 2021

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    As Giving Tuesday 2021 drew to a close, we were left amazed by the innovative campaigns, strong partnerships, and radical generosity seen on November 30th. Brands went above and beyond to raise over $2.7 billion for nonprofits in need, amounting to a record 9% more funds than last year.

    While we already highlighted some favorite campaigns from last year’s Giving Tuesday, this year’s charitable movements took things to a whole new level.

    Here are 5 of our favorite charitable giving campaigns from 2021:

    Pattie Gonia’s “A Fundraiser That’s Not a Drag”


    @Pattiegonia, a social impact champion and queer environmentalist drag queen, took to Instagram early last week to raise money for not one, but five different nonprofit organizations that support equal access to the outdoors.

    The GoFundMe campaign is supported by Pattie’s 380k+ Instagram followers, many of whom made individual contributions in exchange for selecting an iconic music video of their choice for Pattie Gonia to recreate.

    As the campaign picked up speed, donations were matched by the radical generosity of a number of companies.

    The fundraiser has currently raised over $541k towards a $500k goal.

    The following companies caught wind of the campaign and pledged some hefty singular donations and donation matches:

    These sizable donations from generous companies and individuals are directly supporting the work that nonprofits do to help get underrepresented communities outdoors and make the outdoors a more equitable place.

    Companies like the ones involved in Pattie Gonia’s campaign are not naive to the benefits they can reap from interacting with a fundraiser of this scale. 

    For example, Hydroflask’s choice to partner with Pattie Gonia and her engaged audience of LGBTQIA+ environmentalists goes to show that the company is paying attention to the visibility and reach they can leverage from the activist’s platform. Connecting with aligned consumers can only make your campaigns and brand awareness more powerful. 

    When other companies DM’d Pattie on Instagram pledging their donation matches, they were eager to jump on the bandwagon of a campaign that was going viral, with hundreds of thousands of active donors, guaranteeing brand visibility and positive PR to match.

    Have you noticed the trend here? There are surefire benefits for companies who do good! Large companies have the resources to will tens of thousands of dollars away on a whim. Kudos to them!

    Chewy Matches Up to $2 Million in Customer Donations

    For this year’s Giving Tuesday, Chewy, the leading shopping destination for pet parents and partners, has pledged to match up to $2 million in Wish List donations for the week of November 24-30, ultimately driving a total of $30M in Total Donations for 2021.

    Chewy’s Wish List feature allows animal welfare organizations to create lists of items they need. The list is made available to all Chewy pet parents to view, shop, and donate through Chewy’s famous speedy delivery service.

    According to their 2021 Giving Tuesday press release, the company will also make a donation of matching value that will be “distributed in partnership with Greater Good Charities to animal welfare organizations nationwide, giving Chewy customers the opportunity to donate once and give twice.” There’s nothing we love to see more than companies that make it easier for their consumers to do good.

    Here are a few pros that contributed to this wildly successful campaign:

    • Their audience of pet lovers is notoriously passionate about animal welfare causes and is willing to put their money where their heart is
    • Offering a variety of donation options from familiar products to monetary donations meant the donors could feel emotionally connected to the recipient
    • Whereas cause marketing campaigns that donate a percentage of proceeds tend to attract new customers, matching donation campaigns more so reinforce existing customer loyalty. We consider this the difference between “If you support us, we will support an aligned cause,” vs.  “We care about the same cause and will match your support regardless of our sales.” Since Chewy is already well established within the pet community, retaining and connecting with existing customers is a huge benefit. 

    Alltruists Double Their Donations

    Alltruists, the monthly subscription box that creates monthly giving and volunteer projects for kids, took an aligned, and dare we say, altruistic approach to Giving Tuesday in 2021. 

    Though the company is already centered on social impact initiatives with a mission of teaching kids to “learn, connect, act, and give,” this Giving Tuesday they donated $10 for every box sold on November 30th; $5 more than the normal amount the company donates with every purchase. 

    This initiative reinforces Alltruists’ do-good mindset to its socially conscious consumer base. 

    We love to see giving amped up on Giving Tuesday, especially when it’s building on daily, consistent giving practices!

    Toms’ Secret Weapon: Employee Engagement Through Social Purpose

    With arguably some of the strongest social impact programs in the game, Toms took an employee-centered approach to Giving Tuesday this year. On November 30th, Toms gave employees the day-off work to volunteer for their favorite organizations. This full day of employee volunteerism comes on top of Toms’ existing giving model of donating ⅓ of their profits to grassroots efforts. 

    This is a great example of how charitable giving and donating money aren’t synonymous; making a difference doesn’t always have to be about cutting checks.

    Donating your time and effort is a great way to support your favorite organizations, who are usually pressed for time and short-staffed. All while engaging your employees, strengthening your partnership relationships, and cultivating trust within your company in the process. It’s a win across the board!

    Thinx Gives Back to Chicago Period Project with a Perfectly Aligned Partnership

    Thinx, the company behind underwear that is designed to absorb your period, have been focused on ending period poverty since their inception in 2013. 

    On Giving Tuesday this year, the company is matching donations up to $50k to the Chicago Period Project, a nonprofit that empowers homeless and in-need people to experience their periods with dignity. The fundraiser is running from November 24th, 2021 through the end of the year.

    You can read more about the Chicago Period Project’s founder, mission, and goals for the future in Thinx’s piece.

    This perfectly aligned partnership between Thinx and The Chicago’s Period Project is a match made in heaven. Through donation matching, product donations (with the most innovative and useful product for this use case), and employee volunteerism, Thinx is demonstrating how a growing company can make a real impact.

    Innovative social impact programming + engaged and inspired employees + nurtured partnerships = one strong AF corporate social responsibility model.

    More 2021 Giving Tuesday Campaigns That Deserve a Shoutout

    • Crate & Barrel’s Kid Activist program is supporting young activists and their causes with donations open on their website through March of 2022.
    • Through the end of the year, Dell is donating a device to a student in the U.S. for every computer they receive for reuse/refurbishment through their Trade In program. This is aligned with the company’s mission to reduce the digital divide impacting students in lower-income areas. 
    • Outdoor Voices recently launched a limited edition collection with YMCA to help “Get The World Moving.” 100% of proceeds directly benefit the Y.
    • Biossance x Oceana collaborated to create the Oceans of Change set of skincare products for bright, glowy skin. 100% of the proceeds from the set was donated on Giving Tuesday and 5% of proceeds will be donated every other day.

    That’s our wrap-up on Giving Tuesday 2021! We’re entering 2022 feeling energized, hopeful, and inspired by all the good work companies are doing to support important causes in creative ways. 

    Looking for a corporate or nonprofit partner for an upcoming impact initiative?

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    Marketing Coordinator at Good Impact Network

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