The post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush is all about buying. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday all promote fantastic sales and boost business for retailers. But Giving Tuesday, a relatively new movement started in 2012, is focused on helping the larger community after a weekend of shopping for family and friends.
This year, Giving Tuesday falls on Dec. 3, and thousands of individuals, businesses and charities are volunteering and sharing their stories of giving back with the hashtag #GivingTuesday. It's not hard to see why so many business owners have chosen to get involved this year: Other than the satisfaction of doing something good for others, there are plenty of practical reasons for your business to get involved with philanthropy.
"Millennials are particularly conscientious consumers who purchase with purpose," said Jay Ziskrout, founder of B2B donation and cause marketing service, Charitable Checkout. "People will switch brands to support one that they see as socially responsible."
Social responsibility initiatives like Giving Tuesday have been growing in popularity, and there's no better time than the holiday season to start giving back with your business. In honor of this charitable "holiday," here are a few tips for kicking off your social responsibility campaign:
Encourage your team to volunteer
It's easy to get distracted by the business tasks at hand, but corporate social good is a valuable and viable practice, and volunteer work can be a great way to get started.
"Millenials embrace charitable volunteerism and gravitate towards businesses that reward and esteem community involvement," said Charley Polachi, managing partner of Polachi Access Executive Search. "Make social good a goal, not a chore."
Melody Badgett, managing director of donation service One Percent for the Planet, also noted that participating in a charitable activity often enhances corporate social responsibility.
"You get the most engagement when it's more than just writing a check," she told BusinessNewsDaily. "Getting involved really shows the impact that you can have."
Polachi, who regularly works with startup companies, recommended setting aside identified days for volunteer work, or offer paid time off to staff members who want to pursue philanthropic activities. Even if you have to start small, such as getting involved with a local school event, your charitable efforts won't go unnoticed.
Social media goes a long way
At Charitable Checkout, social media is a key component to businesses' campaigns. When a customer makes a donation through the campaign, they receive a social media mention from the business, along with a coupon or digital media reward.
"The donor feels appreciated, positive social media is generated for the business and the cause, and sales are driven for the business," Ziskrout said.
Make a point to discuss the organization(s) your business is supporting on your social media channels, even if just to raise awareness among your customers. In giving a shout-out to the cause, you might begin to see a boost in your own business as well.
Incorporate social good into your brand
While it's easier for larger companies with more financial resources, incorporating your values and beliefs into your product or service can help to strengthen your brand.
"When you make a high-bar commitment and link your sourcing and ingredients into your golden objective, your giving portfolio comes to life," Badgett said.
If your startup doesn't have the means to purchase materials from a specific manufacturer that advertises being fair trade, organic or sustainably made, you can still make a year-round effort to be socially responsible by giving a portion of your proceeds to an organization whose values align with yours, or volunteering your time to help out a specific cause.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.