Viewing entries tagged
#GivingTuesday

How You Can End the Year with Impact

1 Comment

How You Can End the Year with Impact

by Kate Vandeveld

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it’s time for many of us to break out the holiday music and start prepping for the next round of celebrations. While the holiday season is one of mass consumerism and indulgence – we’re guilty of it too! – it’s also a time when we tend to feel a stronger sense of responsibility to support people and causes we care about. 

The key is channeling these positive feelings into action – and because many of us are also pretty busy around the holidays, this might be easier said than done. But if we each take a few small steps to support others, we can make a huge difference… ending the year positively and starting 2016 off on a strong foot.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Shop responsibly 

We talk about this a lot, and for good reason: making small changes to your purchasing habits can have a hugely positive impact. Being a conscientious consumer is important all year, but especially when we’re spending an average of $805 per person during the holiday season.

Our first suggestion is to shop small business whenever possible. The ripple effect of shopping at small businesses, rather than opting for large corporations, is substantial. It makes an impact on  your local economy, and reaches as far as global supply chains. If you can’t shop small business, there are other steps you can take to ensure that the products you’re buying are ethically and/or sustainably sourced. If you know of any brands, stores, or websites that you’d like to share with the WhyWhisper community, let us know! We want to help spread the word about companies that provide socially and environmentally responsible options.

Support causes you care about 

Never underestimate how much nonprofit organizations need your support. For many, internal capacity is stretched thin, and budgets are notoriously small.  

As you may know, today is Giving Tuesday – perhaps more commonly known as #GivingTuesday. It’s a great opportunity to balance out all of the spending that you’ve done or plan to do this holiday season. Just check out the Giving Tuesday website or #GivingTuesday on Twitter to find out which organizations participated, and what they’re aiming to fund with this year’s campaigns. Even if you only have a couple dollars to spare, this is a time when even the smallest donation can make a huge difference, collectively. The end-of-year funds that these organizations collect will play a big role in determining their scope of work for 2016.

Also, any company or organization that focuses on social impact can greatly benefit from your support via word of mouth. Follow them on their social media platforms, subscribe to their newsletter, and share information about their work and any campaigns or events they promote. Simply acting as an informal ambassador can be an incredible form of support. If you have expertise in a particular area that you think might be helpful to these organizations, or want to use your time to help them further their missions, consider inquiring about volunteering. If you do it, be intentional about it: Make sure you provide concrete ideas for how you can provide support, and only commit to what you’re sure you can contribute, so they are able to properly plan for the year ahead.

Focus on your own community

If you don’t know where to start making a difference this holiday season, look at your own community. Do you live in a place where it gets pretty cold in the winter? Maybe you could organize a cold weather drive at your office, co-working space, or even your neighborhood coffee shop. This way, you can make a large-scale difference for those in need, while providing an opportunity for others to contribute. Even if you can’t organize your own drive, keep your eyes open for those who are collecting various items – from jackets and blankets, to toys, to canned goods – in your community. These types of drives have become ubiquitous in many areas, and for good reason – they’re relatively easy to put together, and their impact is tangible. 

Plan ahead for 2016

Maybe you don’t have a lot of time or resources to contribute at the moment, or you’re not particularly into the holidays, or you’re already taking action? No matter waht, the end of the year is a great time to plan for how you can make a greater impact in the coming year.

How will you be active in contributing to positive change? Will you volunteer? Plan to reduce your environmental footprint? Mentor others who need support?

Think about the resources at your disposal, your personal bandwidth, and how you can realistically use them to support the causes you care about. Then, make concrete and actionable plans. If you want to support a cause, but aren’t sure which organizations are doing the most substantive and sustainable work, do the research now. Once you’ve landed on one (or several!), take the steps that we outlined above to start learning more about them, like following them on social media and subscribing to their newsletter. If you have the bandwidth to lend your time or expertise, reach out to them with a proposal on how you can support them as a volunteer or consultant.

  

What are you doing to end 2015 in an impactful way? If you have a specific way that our community can help out, let us know – we want to do all that we can. Shoot us an email, connect on social – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn, or comment below.

1 Comment

How to Make the Most of #GivingTuesday

Comment

How to Make the Most of #GivingTuesday

by Kate Vandeveld

There’s less than one month until one of the biggest giving days of the year: Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, which takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is an incredible and growing movement to encourage giving during the holiday season.

Giving Tuesday encourages people to give back to causes they care about at a time when they’re spending a great deal on material items. While 130 million people shopped on Black Friday last year, average spend per person has decreased in recent years. On the flipside, the average gift size on Giving Tuesday last year was $154 per person, for a total of $45.68 million in donations. In contrast, those numbers are on the rise.

Here’s how Giving Tuesday works: Participating organizations build campaigns around the day to raise funds from a broader audience they may not typically reach. All you have to do to participate is register, and then incorporate the #GivingTuesday hashtag into your campaign to reach that broader audience. 

If you haven’t launched your campaign yet, don’t worry – we have some tips that will help you map out your plan and make the most of Giving Tuesday:

Start planning now!

Even though there’s still a little under a month until Giving Tuesday, you’ll want to start planning now. The more you strategize and prepare for your campaign, the better off you’ll be when the big day arrives. Here’s what we suggest:

  • Decide what your campaign will be centered around. Whether you want to focus on a certain aspect of your organization, building up a particular service you provide, or developing something new altogether, you’ll want your campaign to be focused on something that your audience can understand and engage with.
  • Come up with a communication strategy for your campaign. This strategy should be cohesive and encompass all content areas: Your website, blog, email, social – you name it.  This strategy should start several weeks before the campaign, so your community knows you’ll be participating and starts to spread the word and get ready to give themselves.

Set fundraising goals 

Before you launch your content strategy, come up with fundraising goals. You should have one external goal that you’ll share publicly. This goal should be ambitious, but attainable. Then, come up with a stretch goal to keep in mind internally. This goal will motivate your team to keep going after you’ve hit your external goal. And don’t just set goals, map out what these funds will allow you to do. Be as detailed as possible – it will make a big difference to your team and to your donors throughout the campaign.

Beyond these major goals, develop list of services and support that donors’ dollars will go toward. Donors want to know exactly what kind of impact their dollars will make, so the more you break it down, the better. Think through what a $10 donation will allow you to do, a $20 donation, and so forth, and use this in your content strategy.

Get your team on board

This might be the most important element of your Giving Tuesday strategy, or any fundraising strategy at that. Your team knows how the funds raised will impact the individuals and communities you work with, and so they will be your biggest ambassadors in promoting your campaign.  Make sure you share your goals and the impact these funds will have with them, so they know what they’re putting themselves out there for.

Also be sure to provide them with the tools they need to promote your campaign. Share sample social posts and email drafts that they can use as a guide, and give them a list of ways they can reach out to their own networks. Then, on the day of, share and engage with their supportive posts. This will help your campaign build momentum and show that you acknowledge their efforts.

Prepare for execution on Giving Tuesday

Once Giving Tuesday arrives, you need to have a solid plan in place for executing your strategy. You will definitely want to plan to send out a reminder email the morning of, and your social strategy should be ready in advance as well. You’ll need at least one person on board to monitor donations all day. This person or team should be prepared to share posts that you’ve already drafted, as well as share live fundraising updates, and actively engage those who are talking about #GivingTuesday on social.

 

As you’re developing your Giving Tuesday strategy, keep in mind that it doesn’t have to stop there – you can use it as an opportunity to launch a month-long year-end giving campaign!

If you need some inspiration for your #GIvingTuesday campaigns, check these out.

Do you have tips for making the most of Giving Tuesday, or a really cool campaign that you’ve seen? Share with us! Here’s how:

Comment

How You Can Make a Difference This Holiday Season

Comment

How You Can Make a Difference This Holiday Season

by Kate Vandeveld

The holiday season is here! And with it comes an opportunity to reflect on the things that we’re most grateful for, and the ways we can make a difference in the lives of others.

According to Network for Good, more than 30% of charitable giving happens in December, with average gifts rising to $142 versus $91 during the rest of the year. While donations are extremely important, there are many other ways to give back. Here are a few to start, but we would love to hear your ideas as well! 

SmallBizSat

Support Local Businesses

For many, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday shopping adventure, kicking off on the infamous Black Friday. Last year, consumers spent $12.3 billion at brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday – largely at large corporations like Walmart and Best Buy.  This year, some stores are even opening on Thanksgiving Day to further increase their profits, even at the expense of employees’ family time. Instead of standing in long lines and fighting your way through the Black Friday crowds, we have an alternate option for you: Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to forego making purchases from large corporations on Black Friday in favor of supporting small local businesses the following day. Small businesses have created 63 percent of new jobs over the past decade and employ half the nation’s workforce. Spending $100 at a local business means that roughly $68 stays in your local economy, versus the $43 that will stay in your local economy if you spend the same at a large business. Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday helps local businesses bolster business by spreading the word about their own discounts and sales, and provides consumers with an opportunity to make better holiday purchasing decisions.

You can find participating small businesses here, or promote your own business’s participation here.

GivingTuesday

Give Back

Have your own idea for giving back and want to spread the word? Enter #GivingTuesday.  With three days around Thanksgiving dedicated to deals and purchases, the #GivingTuesday team decided it was time for a day dedicated to giving. #GivingTuesday is a movement that encourages individuals, organizations, and companies all over the world to develop their own initiatives centered around giving back, to be launched on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

Last year, thousands of companies all over the world joined the #GivingTuesday movement. For example, Microsoft YouthSpark launched an initiative to raise $500K for their Give for Youth campaign that creates education, employment, and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people. On #GivingTuesday, they matched 100% of donations dollar for dollar up to $250,000. eBay Deals also teamed up with eBay Giving Works for one week to donate 10 percent of sales to benefit a variety of non-profits.

Find out who is participating in #GivingTuesday this year and how you can get involved here, and follow the movement on Twitter to stay in the loop.

volunteer

Commit to Volunteering Throughout the Year

For many who want to give back during the holiday season, the first thing that comes to mind is volunteering at their local soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. While this is a wonderful idea, soup kitchens and shelters are often totally overwhelmed by volunteers on Thanksgiving, only to struggle to find resources and volunteers during the rest of the year.

Rather than volunteering your time on one or two major holidays, think about making a commitment to volunteer regularly throughout the year. Sites like Volunteer Match and Idealist can help you find volunteer work that works well for your interests and location. 

Gifts

Purchase Sustainable Paper Goods

A lot of paper is wasted during the holiday season - from cards to wrapping paper, we use a lot of it without thinking about environmental impact. Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate consumer products, and from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%.

But there are ways to be more eco-friendly during the holiday season without giving up cards and wrapped presents. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials -- newspaper, magazine, or old maps, for example -- it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Or if you want to stick to traditional wrapping paper, try out these sustainable options. And when it comes to holiday cards, you can choose to go digital, or check out these eco-friendly cards made from 100% recycled paper.


As you prepare for the holiday season, take some time to think about the best way for you to make an impact. Whether it’s volunteering your time or simply making smarter and more sustainable consumer choices, now is the perfect time for you to make a difference.

What’s your favorite way to make an impact during the holiday season? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to follow us Instagram, too!


Comment

The Best Social Good Campaigns of the 2013 Holiday Season

Comment

The Best Social Good Campaigns of the 2013 Holiday Season

Each year, countless bloggers and publishers post a roundup of their favorite holiday campaigns. Since these lists always serve as inspirational marketing thought-starters, we decided to create our own. 

The below slideshow features campaigns put on by nonprofits, social enterprises, impact-focused brands -- and even large corporations. The one theme that runs through all of them? In some way, they were focused on social good. 

The Best Social Good Campaigns of the 2013 Holiday Season

Have more to add?

Note them in the comments below -- we would love to help spread their message!

Comment