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How to Engage Businesses in Your Community for #GivingTuesday

Thought about asking some local businesses to support you on #GivingTuesday, but not sure where to start? 

You’re not alone. It’s not an easy thing to approach, especially if there isn’t an existing relationship between you and the businesses you want to partner with.

Before you start contacting anyone, it’s important to understand that partnering with local businesses will expand your reach in a way that’s mutually beneficial. You’re enhancing their marketing and visibility while opening your organization up to a larger supporter base that you might not have otherwise tapped into. It’s a win-win, and the start of a beautiful partnership for future appeals.

Once you’re ready to reach out, what will you ask for and who will you ask?

The possibilities really are infinite and may vary based on the business size. There is no ask too small, and any way they can support you in the #GivingTuesday movement will have an impact on your organization.  

Let us help you brainstorm some ideas for the different businesses on your checklist, ranging from Small to Large organizations.

Engage Businesses #GivingTuesday

Small Businesses:

While the concern might be that local businesses can’t afford to sponsor you, the reality is quite the contrary. There are so many ways they can get involved. Leverage the common ground that you have with these smaller businesses – you are personally invested in the success of your shared community; striving every day to support and serve its members.

Take a look at these ideas from past #GivingTuesday campaigns. Pick a few that your organization can accomplish in advance of November 28:

  1. Provide local restaurants and retailers with a downloadable logo for your campaign that says something like, “Proud Supporter of [Name of #GivingTuesday Campaign], and ask them to include it on the homepage of their website.
  2. If you have even a small budget for marketing, many local merchants will proudly hang window clings or display point-of-purchase marketing cards or flyers.
  3. Create inserts for restaurants to include in check presenters.
  4. Ask merchants to follow you on your social channels (and follow them back!) so they can share your social marketing with their audiences.
  5. Invite local merchants to give a percentage of sales from Small Business Saturday through #GivingTuesday to a favorite nonprofit.
  6. Invite local merchants to donate to a community matching fund pool in exchange for marketing and recognition in your outreach activities.
  7. 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:

  1. A Local French Bakery created a special macaron and gave 50% of the sales to a community matching fund pool.
  2. A favorite pizza place created a special pizza and donated proceeds for a two-week period to three of their favorite nonprofits.
  3. A gym created a special workout and gave a percentage of sales to a nonprofit.
  4. 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.
  5. A local ice cream shop and granola maker teamed up to create a special flavor and donated the proceeds to marketing for #GivingTuesday.
  6. Waitresses in a restaurant donated their tips to a nonprofit and the restaurant owner matched those donations.

Medium/Large Businesses:

Medium and larger businesses often have internal efforts focused on supporting worthy initiatives in their local communities, and #GivingTuesday is a powerful platform for company engagement. Letting their customers know that they give back to the community is important to them.

Here are a few examples of asks for these types of companies:

  1. 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.
  2. Businesses can contribute to a #GivingTuesday matching fund pool or challenge grant pool.
  3. Businesses can sponsor an employee campaign where employees vote for their favorite charities on #GivingTuesday and the company makes a gift.
  4. 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.
  5. Companies can organize volunteer activities on #GivingTuesday and provide the time and encouragement for employees to volunteer for a local organization.
  6. They can include information about the community #GivingTuesday campaign in company newsletters and interwebs.
  7. Company Foundations can make grants on #GivingTuesday.
  8. Leverage local media companies for a sponsorship and ask them to amplify your outreach!

Now that you have a variety of ways to collaborate with local businesses this #GivingTuesday, and knowing the mutual benefits of doing so, the only thing left to do is find those businesses that resonate with your cause and reach out to them!

Get Ready for #GivingTuesday