Giving Tuesday campaign ideas to get inspired by

In this video, we discuss several examples of successful Giving Tuesday campaigns and key takeaways to implement for your future campaigns. We explore campaign examples by United Health Group, T-Mobile, and Equinox as well as how to quickly start an effective Giving Tuesday campaign.

This is Part 2 of our 2-Part series on What to know How to get started with Giving Tuesday.

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Part 1: How does Giving Tuesday work and how to start a campaign for your business

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Karl Yeh:

So today, I'm joined by Margaret Bjork, Director of Goodness Solutions with Benevity, and we're going to talk about some great Giving Tuesday examples.

So Margaret, what are some great Giving Tuesday campaigns that you've seen in the past?

Margaret Bjork:

Yeah, so there's just been a ton of them.

And again, they just don't have to be super complicated, [00:01:00] but the best ones that I've seen in companies examples...

Example 1: UnitedHealth Group

For example, several years ago, UnitedHealth Group did a great job at this.

And so, what they did is they created a communication plan and they were really focusing on their employee base.

And so they put the big LED... [00:01:30] Is it LED? Sorry. They put the big TVs that are in their lobbies.

They use that real estate to promote that they were having a Giving Tuesday campaign the next week.

They did actual desk drops of a nice looking document that talked about it, explained that they were going to do a two for one match on that day and that day only.

UnitedHealth Group is a huge [00:02:00] company, over 300,000 employees.

So, everyone coming to the headquarters doesn't exist. They're a global company.

We know so many of our companies especially now during COVID, people don't come into the office.

And so, if you have a LinkedIn page or a Facebook page, it's also time to kind of like go outside your firewall and promote there and say that you're doing this because those are places where we often see things that we're like, "Oh gosh, I didn't pay attention to that in the newsletter, but [00:02:30] if I saw it here on LinkedIn."

And then during the day, then as Giving Tuesday came up, they sent an email and then they were able to publicize results as they were going, "Hey, we've raised $10 million. We've raised $20 million."

And so, kind of getting that hyping that whole time and they just raised a tremendous amount of money.

Now, at the end of that, they also then went back and shared amazing results of saying, "This is [00:03:00] how much money we raised this year.

These are the different causes. This is how much more it was than last year.

We want to thank you." And they shared some of those key stories.

And so, again, kind of using some kind of blocking and tackling of marketing strategies. It's like communication, it's a call to action and then it's reporting on those results.

Karl Yeh: If we were to take one key thing from that example, what would it be?

Key Takeaway

Margaret Bjork:

I would say, [00:03:30] just being in a lot of different places, that some people are going to respond to the thing on their desk.

Some people are going to respond to their LinkedIn.

We know that CSR departments really have to compete with a lot of what's called platform fatigue.

We've got wellness programs, we've got all sorts of things that are going on that are wonderful, but it's hard to get people's attention in addition to then supposed to be working.

So, [00:04:00] having multiple places that different employees can get the message and hopefully get it a couple of times so it registers.

Karl Yeh:

You touched on a really good point because so many organizations I've worked for in the past, you get those emails, right? It's like, "There's this on to this day.

There's this on this day. There's this coming up in six weeks from now.

Make sure to..." And I think we all remember the United Way campaigns that we always [00:04:30] get too, right?

So, there's different things that always coming in and it's very hard sometimes to really get that focus on that one day which is extremely important.

Margaret Bjork:

Yeah. I think that's a really good point.

And I think that kind of goes back to something that we were talking about in the last session, which is you really need to plan because you don't want a lot of other distractions.

You want to make sure that you haven't just asked people to participate in a campaign the week before, or you're not going to do it again [00:05:00] in a month.

And so, you want to make an editorial content calendar of when you're going to ask a place to participate and make sure that is big enough so that they're not getting that donation fatigue either or volunteering or kind of purpose fatigue.

Karl Yeh:

Do you find it useful then, I guess sort of like what we do for email marketing where [00:05:30] we send out emails like either a drip or a sequence over time?

Is that something that you found effective when running Giving Tuesday campaigns?

Effectiveness of email marketing for Giving Tuesday campaigns

Margaret Bjork:

Absolutely. And again, I think this is where you start to use your influencers, which we talked about before that maybe that email is coming from the head of one of your ERGs.

And so, somebody that's relevant to your market.

And so if that's [00:06:00] Minnesota, if that's your ERG, if that's somebody from finance.

Again, it doesn't have to be the executive. It just has to be somebody that people go, "Oh, okay."

For example, here at Benevity and I'm sure she'll speak on one of these.

If Jenelle sends me an email, I'm opening that. And so having those influencers send those emails, I think is really important and to figure out that sequence.

Again, non-profits do this all [00:06:30] the time. They are amazing with that. They send emails, see who opened. If they didn't open it, they get something else.

We probably don't need to do that, but if you want to know who does digital marketing and email campaigns well, call one of the big non-profits because they're amazing.

Karl Yeh: So, let's move on to another example. What's another great Giving Tuesday campaign example for you.

Example 2: T-Mobile

Margaret Bjork:

So, and I talked about it on the last one, but it's so good. I would hate to not mention it.

So T-Mobile does this and [00:07:00] they've done it a couple of years in a row.

So, what they do is their biggest stakeholders are their employees and their customers.

And so for them, both of those groups are primarily millennials and Gen Zs.

And so this kind of goes to knowing your audience and this would apply even if those aren't your audiences, but we're going to use this for T-Mobile.

Video Thumbnail

And so, T-Mobile knows [00:07:30] those audiences, knows those audience looking at the research from Cone and Deloitte, you can find all this stuff on our website too, that employees want to work for companies that do good in the world, customers want to buy from people that are doing the right things in the world.

So, what's the right way to kind of show some proof positive? Giving Tuesday is that opportunity to kind of walk the walk.

So what T-Mobile does is they give their employees, they seed their accounts so that [00:08:00] if you're using Benevity Spark or other tools, you have a giving account.

And so, they put dollars in there and you can give those dollars to any non-profit...

We have 2 million and all over the globe in our system, and you could only give them that day. So, if you don't use them, you'll lose them.

And they give those and they say, "Hey, why don't you go give to any cause that you want?"

And so, that gets people pretty excited. You have a call to action and you have a deadline. These are things that we know people respond to.

We're all super [00:08:30] weirdly competitive and wired. So doing that and then... So, they had that on the employee side.

Then on the customer side, they partnered with Feeding America and Feeding America said, "Hey, if you will hype us, if you'll promote us, we'll bring a million dollars to the table.

And for every dollar that your customers give and use our hash and use the Giving Tuesday, T-Mobile, Feeding America hashtag, whatever [00:09:00] it was, we'll match it."

And so now again, it's not just $10, Feeding America's going to match it.

So, it's $20.

So my micro-donation is not so micro anymore.

In both of these things is kind of timeliness as well as incentive works amazing.

And so there you have had just great campaigns. Well, again, you can watch the video.

When you do these things, employees organically will go onto LinkedIn [00:09:30] and brag about you and say, "My company is the best.

They just gave me $28 to give to whoever I wanted. I work for such nice people." Or, "Feeding America just showed up on a big way."

And so it's the kind of feedback you cannot pay for. And so, it's a wonderful thing to do. So that's one of my favorite campaigns.

Karl Yeh:

I really like the partnering with the... Is that Feeding America again? [crosstalk 00:09:56].

Margaret Bjork:

Yes. Yeah. And they're not the only one, I love Feeding America, but you could [00:10:00] partner with anyone.

Karl Yeh:

But I liked that because then, it isn't just T-Mobile, it's T-Mobile with Feeding America and it's like we're doing this together.

And that's an awesome takeaway for like if you're running a bigger campaign and you can, like did they go out and find Feeding America or did Feeding America come and say, "Hey, we'd like to partner with you." Or, how did that happen?

Margaret Bjork:

I don't know particular with T-Mobile, but again, non-profits [00:10:30] it is their job to raise money, to do the programming that they need to do.

So, they're very much on the front, cutting edge of what is effective in raising money.

So I wouldn't be surprised if Feeding America brought it to T-Mobile or vice versa.

The relationship there probably existed. And so again, when you think about CSR, you think about primarily two different things.

You think about grant dollars, so those are those bigger dollars who, "Hey, we're going to give $10,000 to $1 [00:11:00] million, to $5 million to this non-profit."

And typically, what you're trying to do with those types of gifts are make real systemic change. We're trying to make sure no kid goes hungry this year and certainly in the next five years.

And then you think about employee engagement and employee engagement is a little bit more of the micro-donations. Again, we want to be sensitive.

These are regular people. " [00:11:30] If you could give $5, $10, $25, $50, and you give to different causes that are important to you, and as a company, I'm going to support your values."

And so, when we're thinking about this Feeding America and these bigger dollars, that can typically falls into your grants.

And so, those are long-term relationships that both companies and non-profits take a lot of time to make sure that they understand what is helpful [00:12:00] to each other.

And it's not typically like an overnight thing. You certainly could be successful in picking up the phone as a non-profit and say, "Hey, do you have a partner for Giving Tuesday?"

And they might go, "No, and we need one." So, don't be afraid to call, but my hunch is that's a long-term relationship.

Karl Yeh: So do you have one more example for us?

Example 3: Local campaign - Equinox

Margaret Bjork:

Okay. So here's one.

You don't have a million dollars from Feeding America.

You don't have money to give to [00:12:30] your employees.

You are a regular company who wants to do something. How about you do something like if you're a gym or you're a bagel shop, and you say, "If you do something on Giving Tuesday, maybe it's not donate.

Maybe you just tell me the cause that you care about and use the hashtag, and you come into my store the next time, you show me that you did that, you could have a free workout.

You can have a free bagel, [00:13:00] you can have a free soda." And that is just a great way. I think Equinox does this on Giving Tuesday.

And so, it's something... Again, that's really mutually beneficial. "Hey, we're going to bring attention to things, and we're going to bring more people into our store." So everybody kind of wins.

And that's really one of the benefits of Giving Tuesday is if done right and authentically, everybody wins.

Karl Yeh:

That's awesome. That's awesome. [00:13:30] And it's so simple too.

It's not like you have to partner with somebody or you have to have a big organization, or you have to have a big group. It's something simple as, "Hey, you know what? Yeah, we'll provide an incentive and we'll encourage that." Love that.

Love that example.

Margaret Bjork:

Yeah. Yeah. It doesn't have to be complicated. I've told you about organizations that have big budgets and big campaigns and things like that, truly look at the options that we've included because you, as your family could do [00:14:00] this on your own without any support and do this really effectively. It does not have to be... This is not only the big guys.

So, Margaret, these are three awesome examples.

And if we were to take away just maybe one or two things [00:14:30] from those three, and I know we talked about the first one, but what would you say if we were to start a Giving Tuesday campaign today, what would be your number one tip?

Easy way to start a Giving Tuesday campaign


Margaret Bjork:

Number one tip would be get a group of folks that you know will help promote it.

So your kind of internal influencers. Pick your hashtag, which one of your hashtags should be Giving Tuesday 2021, your company.

Karl Yeh: Sure.

Margaret Bjork:

Again, it's really simple.

You're simply encouraging people to care about the world and to share that with you.

So we encourage people to share what causes they care about, what causes they give to, who they might encourage that you volunteer with? And [00:15:30] maybe something that you can just take a small action with you and your family to make the world a better place.

And if you get those influencers and you get your hashtags, I promise you, you will have success.

Karl Yeh:

Thank you very much for listening and we'll catch you in our next episode.

And if you want to learn more about Giving Tuesday, you got to check out our first video here, part one, where we talk about what it is and how to actually start one and how to maximize it in your organization.
Thank you [00:16:00] very much for watching, and we'll see you in our next episode.

Question for you

Have you run a Giving Tuesday campaign? How successful was it? 

About Margaret Bjork:

Margaret has worked to power good through technology for over 20 years. Starting as a practitioner in the nonprofit community, and then working for companies who provided the technology to nonprofits and corporations use to run their fundraising, employee engagement, HR, and digital marketing programs. Margaret helps her clients find ways to operationalize goodness so that it is easy and scalable to combine Profit and Purpose and create engaging programs for their employees, consumers, and communities.

Connect with Margaret on Linkedin