Despite the music and decorations, it’s easy to forget that the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy. Giving to those in need is a great reminder of what the holidays are supposed to be about. Supporting others can also be great for business. It engages your employees, connects your operation to the community and can give people a reason to come visit you more often.
A nice way to get the season off to a good start is to participate in #GivingTuesday. This is an annual “Global Day of Giving” that takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (this year it’s on 11/27). It was started in 2012 to give individuals and organizations a chance to raise awareness and funds for nonprofits and charitable organizations.
This movement is growing fast, too. In 2016, online donations were at $177 million. In 2018, the total raised jumped 69% to $300 million. One of the nice things about working with a global movement like #GivingTuesday is that there is an enormous amount of support and guidance. Their toolkit page has campaign ideas, logos, branding materials and a ton of social media assets.
Getting involved with giving is easy because there are so many options and so many charities. The first step is to decide what mission or group to support. It can be something that’s close to your heart or something important to your employees. If you have roots in your community, or want to build them, pick something local. If you’re still unsure, going with a local food bank is always a great choice.
Do good year round
#GivingTuesday is a nice date to focus on because of the surrounding holidays, but people are in need 365 days a year. Making giving a part of your company’s mission is something you can do anytime. More and more companies are using giving to connect with people, which can have a profound effect on your community—and sales.
For example, one of Zenreach’s customers, MK Investments, has fourteen Pieology franchises. They’re fun, fast-casual pizza restaurants that have a lot of family and community-oriented customers. Their Vice President of Operations, James Hilovsky, is passionate about giving back.
The company offers regular give-back days, mostly for schools and kids’ groups. They start by donating 20% of sales, but if they hit $1,500 or more, they donate 50% of sales. This helps bring in customers and it puts a lot of money into good hands. It also incentivizes the groups involved to really get the word out. James says, “It’s worth it to me to do that 50 percent. It works as marketing, but mostly I love being directly involved in the community.”
Another way they help is through their ‘Race for the Dough.’ For every $10 a school spends, they receive a sticker. At the end of a certain period of time, the stickers are counted and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place schools receive donation prizes. Parents get really into it because it helps their kids and Pieology happens to sell a lot of tasty pizza in the process. Kids get fed and school projects get funded, which is a win-win partnership.
Reasons to give
As the saying goes, giving is its own reward. But there are quite a few reasons to get involved in charitable causes. The most obvious is that it’s good for the community and a healthy community is good for business.
Customers will notice if you are making an effort to improve your neighborhood and its surroundings. You can be a part of funding schools, providing safe places for children to play, or even helping at-risk communities like the homeless. Over time this can make streets safer, cleaner and friendlier. All of which will bring more people into your area.
Employees also feel better about their jobs when they know they are working toward a higher purpose. The 2017 Doing Good is Good for You study shows that 75% of employees who get involved in their communities through work feel better about their employers. Even more amazing, 93% report an improved mood, 79% report lower stress levels and 88% report elevated moods.
Lastly, it’s good for business. Charity events can drive customers in your doors, including people who might have never heard of you. If they are attracted to your mission, it gives them another reason to spend money with you. You can use giving to drive sales on slow days. When Pieology does donation matching on off days, they usually pull in more business than they otherwise would. Once they’ve experienced what you’re all about, they might even become loyal regulars.
Give giving a try
There are so many good reasons why your company should get involved in charitable giving. Really, any reason that motivates you is a good one. Donating can strengthen your business and work culture. It can also have a real impact on your community. So pick a cause that you believe in and start helping people. It'll make you one of the good guys.
For information on Zenreach how WiFi marketing can help promote your charitable causes, visit our site or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.