Photo Credit: Irnya Imago
The days following Thanksgiving are traditionally characterized by heightened levels of spending for American consumers as they take advantage of sale prices on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In recent years however, a shift has occurred to focus on supporting nonprofits and local communities with the establishment of Small Business Saturday in 2010 and Giving Tuesday in 2012. While these events have been welcome introductions into the post-holiday consumer frenzy, it’s important to consider your approach to charitable giving and supporting small business all year long – not just during the holidays.
Though Giving Tuesday and Small Business Saturday are often thought of at the individual level, corporations and other organizations can also be participants. Charitable giving for companies has become a much more public topic in recent years, with companies’ giving trends analyzed against their public statements in support of causes such as racial justice. Corporate giving is no longer a box to check for large corporations – it’s a key aspect of corporate social responsibility strategy and to many, a financial reflection of a company’s values.
In addition to making gifts themselves, in recent years companies have worked to expand workplace giving through corporate match programs, giving people more influence over their employers’ strategy, democratizing the process and increasing employee engagement. There are many worthy places for dollars to go. For instance, organizations like The Giving Gap work to advance racial equity through giving, amplifying Black-founded nonprofits and combat their systemic underfunding.
This year’s Giving Tuesday was especially important, as nonprofits and industry groups indicated that donations were down in 2023 compared to previous years. Brands such as Michael Kors, Instacart and Old Navy participated in the event through donor matches, food donations, and full-sale donations for specific products. Overall, the event indicates a shifting perspective to how corporate giving can happen – through a company’s C-suite decision making and the actions of individual employees.
As we move into the holiday season, organizations should consider the most impactful ways to support causes and small businesses whose causes align with their missions. While dedicated days to these causes promote important spikes in support, there’s value in a longer-term strategy, both for the recipients of donations and the organizations providing the funding.
RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.