Agencies and brands everywhere are hard at work creating their holiday campaigns for #GivingTuesday. But, when these efforts aren’t well-thought-out, they can come across as vapid, rushed or phony — often blending into a sea of similarity among other brands doing exactly the same thing, resulting in lost interest among consumers even if the impact is real. That’s not the look you want this holiday season.
While we applaud any person or company that helps raise funds for a worthy cause, the team sat down to talk about how companies can make #GivingTuesdays work harder for you and for your cause. Below are three tips to help you use this important annual event to turn your brand into a #ProfitWithPurpose powerhouse.
- MAKE IT MAKE SENSE: Choosing a charity to donate to at random is fine for your personal holiday giving but, as a brand, it’s better to have a reason – for both you and your customer – that your specific charitable cause matters to you. Finding a cause to support that impacts your consumers’ lives directly or makes your industry more ethical, sustainable, or inclusive all help to make it easier for customers to build an emotional association between your cause and your brand. Connect the dots for them and make sure it’s authentic! When it makes sense for them, they have more reason to give.
- DON’T ASK, DO: One way to guarantee yourself a Twitter backlash is by asking something of your customers you aren’t doing yourself. Asking shoppers to make a donation at checkout? Make sure at least a bit of your money is on the line, too! According to a survey of 50,000 people done by the Poverty Action Lab, just mentioning that you’ll match donations – even if only up to a certain amount – can increase the likelihood of a consumer donation by 19%. Matched donations also increase the average consumer donation by 22%, meaning more money is given for a bigger impact. The past two years have been rough on so many; if your skin isn’t in the game, why would you expect theirs to be?
- PLAY THE LONG GAME: Almost every company today donates for #GivingTuesday. Most individuals do, too. The holiday season gives us the warm-and-fuzzies and we like to give back if we’re able. That means, your #GivingTuesday campaign is already expected. So while you’re planning this year’s campaign, start thinking about how you can make a difference all year long. For example, our friends at Johnson & Johnson recently invested an additional $50 million into their Impact Investment Initiative, as part of their long-standing commitment to fueling innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to complex healthcare challenges worldwide. For JNJ, bridging health gaps is not just charity: it’s part and parcel of why they exist. So if you’ve chosen a cause that has a deep connection or impact to your business and community, and you’re willing to invest in that yourself (hello, #ProfitWithPurpose!), why not look for ways to make it a year-long thing? After all, two-thirds of consumers were more likely to choose a purpose-driven brand over a competitor, and 72% of them said a company’s purpose made them more loyal to that brand. So, really, the only thing you have to lose by not putting purpose at the heart of your business is… customers.
And that’s a gift nobody wants.
When it comes to #GivingTuesday, it’s more than the thought that counts. It’s also about your long-term, intentional actions that align your charitable cause and your brand’s purpose in ways consumers can see, feel and believe in, the other 364 days a year.
– The Publicans