One of the things I love most about small businesses is that they often support small charities and non-profit organizations that are near and dear to the owner. I’ve got no problem with big businesses that make donations to big charities, but there’s something special about knowing that my purchase will also benefit a group that I might have never heard about otherwise.
As a small business owner, you have the unique ability to choose who your workplace supports through charitable giving. On Tuesday, December 1 – a.k.a. #GivingTuesday – consider using your platform to encourage your social media followers to donate to your favorite non-profit organization.
What is #GivingTuesday?
Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday is the international day of giving that encourages people to consider all that they are thankful for, then come together in the collaborative spirit of social media and give back to the causes they believe in on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
The #GivingTuesday team encourages generosity it all its forms, saying on the website:
Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out, showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and everyone has something to give.
Raising money as a small business
For 2020, the #GivingTuesday team added a Toolkit for Small Businesses that includes example messages, approved images, and ideas for participation.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your business can participate in #GivingTuesday, I definitely suggest visiting the website or downloading the toolkit, but here are a couple of my favorite non-traditional ideas.
- Launch a fund where others can help your employees and their families.
- Show gratitude and shine a light on your employees and customers thanking them for their support on your social channels.
- If you have a storefront, coordinate a drive of specific goods and coordinate pickup with a nonprofit that can get them to the right people or give to neighbors around your business.
- Use your social channels to encourage others to share kindness and be generous.
Supporting a Non-Profit as a Small Business
If there’s a non-profit that your business works with regularly, you may want to reach out to them and find out if they’re planning on participating in #GivingTuesday.
If they are, they may have custom graphics or a specific cause or goal for the day that could you help promote.
If they’re not, you can still raise money in their name, either by creating a fundraiser on Facebook or by donating a portion of your sales on #GivingTuesday.
Great Non-Profits to Support on #GivingTuesday
Okay, basically any non-profit is a great organization to support, and I may be biased, but I’ve included a couple of my favorites for you here!
Teleios Ministry is ATD’s non-profit of choice and 10% of our income goes to loans that allow women in Kenya start their own small businesses so they can support themselves and their families.
Several years ago, Grace Mbuga, the head of Teleios’ Women’s Empowerment project, was working on raising the money for her first conference so that they could transport fifteen women to the center, feed them breakfast and lunch, and provide them with materials to take him. Bonnie, one of the founders of Teleios, told me how much it would cost in Kenyan Shillings and we pulled out the calculator to find out how much we need to raise to make this happen.
Three hundred dollars. I did the math over and over. I could have paid for the entire thing with the cash in my pocket. I was shocked by how much such a (relatively) small amount of money could do to change the lives of so many.
Since then, Teleios has helped put women through college so they can work as tutors, it has purchased chickens, goats, and seeds for small farms, and is currently helping two women establish a yarn store in Nyeri.
Rediscovering Outdoors Activity & Recreation (ROAR)
Mike, the founder of ROAR, has been a quadriplegic for 25 years, but if you think that slowed him down…you don’t know Mike.
Founded in 2014, ROAR’s mission is to empower the disabled to get out and rediscover a love for life after traumatic injury. Often this means taking people hunting who wouldn’t normally be able to go, going to Braves games, and bowling, but they are currently constructing an accessible barn for events and digging a pond for fishing.
Fun fact: I didn’t design the actual logo on their website, but I did help conceptualize it!
Those tracks are from a hardcore “trackchair” style wheelchair and they take Mike places a regular motorized chair never could. Even though these tracks as splashing through the mud – a common look for the real thing – they were inspired by Mike’s wife. After they tested the chair out for the first time, she looked back at the tracks beside her footprints in the sand and realized a dream she had given up on had come true: she got to walk along the beach with the love of her life.
That’s the experience ROAR seeks to give everyone it helps.
Find a Non-Profit Near You
If you don’t currently have a non-profit that you work with, #GivingTuesday is a great time to start forming connections!
Visit GuideStar and search your state to find non-profits that operate near you.