Dec 1, 2015
< Back to blog posts

Engaging Local Businesses

By Jamie McDonald
Leader Community and Higher Ed Campaigns, #GivingTuesday

Local businesses, large and small, like to be associated with good causes in their communities, and #GivingTuesday is a movement that they will want to be part of. Here are a range of ways they can get involved in your community’s #GivingTuesday campaign.

Small Businesses

Small businesses can support your campaign with creative giving, social media and marketing initiatives. Offering a range of participation options to small businesses will make it easy for them to get involved. Here is a menu of possibilities:

  • Provide local restaurants and retailers with an electronic logo for your campaign that says something like, “Proud Supporter of [Name of #GivingTuesday Campaign], and ask them to include it on the home page of their website.
  • If you have even a small budget for marketing, many local merchants will proudly hang window clings or display point-of-purpose marketing cards or flyers.
  • Create inserts for restaurants to include in check presenters.
  • Ask merchants to follow you on your social channels (and follow them back!) so they can share your social marketing with their audiences.
  • Invite local merchants to give a percent of sales from Small BusinessSaturday through #GivingTuesday to a favorite nonprofit.
  • Invite local merchants to donate to a community matching fund pool in exchange for marketing and recognition in your outreach activities.
  • Get creative. Creative ideas can generate media exposure and social marketing opportunities that can far outweigh their cost. Here are a few examples of creative merchant engagements from past campaigns.
    • A Local French Bakery created a special macaron and gave 50% of the sales to a community matching fund pool
    • A favorite pizza place created a special pizza and donated proceeds for a two week period to three of their favorite nonprofits
    • A gym created a special workout and gave a percent of sales to a nonprofit
    • A nonprofit partnered with merchants to provide “rewards” for their donors: Throughout #GivingTuesday, 12 different merchants gave a coupon to donors who made donations during a specified hour of the day.
    • A local ice cream shop and granola maker teamed up to create a special flavor and donated the proceeds to marketing for #GivingTuesday.
    • Waitresses in a restaurant donated their tips to a nonprofit and restaurant owner matched those donations.

Medium and Large Businesses

Medium and larger businesses often have CSR or HR efforts focused on supporting worthy initiatives in their local communities, and #GivingTuesday is a powerful platform for company engagement. Here are a few ways:

  • Companies can sponsor your local campaign in exchange for visibility through your marketing channels. They can provide financial support to cover the costs of marketing, giveaways, etc.
  • Businesses can contribute to a #GivingTuesday matching fund pool or challenge grant poolbiz engagement image 1
  • Businesses can sponsor an employee campaign where employees vote for their favorite charities on #GivingTuesday and the company makes a gift.
  • They can host a day of giving (like a jeans day) for company employees where employees give something to a charity on #GivingTuesday in exchange for being able to wear jeans to work.
  • Companies can organize volunteer activities on #GivingTuesday and provide the time and encouragement for employees to volunteer for a local organization.
  • They can include information about the community #GivingTuesday campaign in company newsletters and intrawebs.
  • Company Foundations can make grants on #GivingTuesday

Media Sponsor

A local TV or radio station can really amplify your outreach.

biz engagement image 2


Spread the word about GivingTuesday

Comments