What time of year is a good time to launch a charitable giving campaign?
Short answer…any time! But you want to feel confident in your social impact program and make the best choices for the best results.
There is no question that there is a greater need for charitable giving right now and there are lots of motivated people who want to make change. So what are the best strategies for exciting and engaging employees to get the highest engagement and profitable dollars for organizations we all love? Let’s check out some ideas:
As mentioned above, any time is a great time to focus on a charitable giving campaign. Sounds simple, right? It really can be! Nearly 80% of charitable donations are made at the end of the year, leaving nonprofits hurting for funds the rest of the year.
Choosing random times of year to support nonprofits can actually be a huge benefit to them, as they may not be getting the support that they would be getting during their busy times: i.e., end of year, Giving Tuesday, or during a holiday that supports their specific cause area. So keep in mind that if you have any doubts on timing, your timing might not be better for the organizations that you are looking to support, and that’s what it’s all about.
Beginning of the year
Repeated participation efforts are most likely to occur within the first three months of an employees’ last participation. And since end of year giving makes up the majority of annual giving, there is a greater opportunity to engage with ongoing participants in the first months of the calendar year.
Perhaps your company has a lull in focused efforts at the beginning of the year (or anytime!). A lull would be a great time to create excitement and engage with employees to boost morale.
Black History Month
In the United States, every year the month of February is observed as Black History Month, a month dedicated to spotlighting and celebrating achievements that African Americans have made in the United States. Promote inclusion and create brave spaces among employees by running a campaign in February supporting nonprofit organizations that educate and promote inclusion among race.
National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week always lands on the third week of April and is dedicated to recognizing the impact volunteerism has on our society. This week is also a great opportunity to bring employees together by encouraging volunteerism in their communities.
Create local volunteering events that employees can participate in together, as a team building activity. Boost participation with incentives such as Dollars for Doers and allowing employees to participate during work hours.
Earth Day is observed annually on April 22. Earth Day is a day dedicated to climate literacy for the greater good of our planet and our environment. This is a great opportunity to create an environmental themed campaign that can encourage employees to support organizations that are working hard to offset climate change. Support your theme or create a volunteer event that supports Earth Day with a tree planting ceremony.
Mental Health Month
Every year, the month of May is observed as Mental Health Month. According to an article in Forbes, “Employees from diverse backgrounds can face lack of representation, microaggressions, unconscious bias, and other stressors that impact their mental health and psychological safety at work.”
May is a great time to show your support for employees by prioritizing mental health and having conversations around mental health. Encourage support and education around mental health with a themed giving campaign that supports mental health organizations.
Giving Tuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is known as the global generosity movement of the year. Giving Tuesday is well-known and celebrated in many countries with the popular hashtag #GivingTuesday.
Because Giving Tuesday is so well-known, the initial buzz is already top of mind for employees, who are feeling more charitable around the Holidays and looking for ways to support nonprofits.
Also, because end of year giving is usually the most profitable, building momentum towards giving right before year end will benefit your year end campaign as well.
End of the year
Most charitable donations are made at the end of the year due to many factors; including those who want to maximize deductions or perhaps a company match that expires at year end. Not to mention, the holidays are typically the time of year when people are feeling the most generous.
End of year is a great opportunity to engage with employees who might not be as engaged other months of the year, which opens opportunities for ongoing giving efforts.
Engage DEI Groups
Sometimes the answer to engaging employees is just that: include the employees in the charitable giving process. One way to encourage employees in the planning process is through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion groups. Engage with these groups to find out what is important to them and what is the current climate of your company’s wants and needs.
There are so many opportunities to run a giving campaign around. We have seen very successful campaigns that did not represent a time of year for their campaign theme or industry. But a well executed and well branded campaign (check out our social impact brand book) can always get employees excited about giving. Perhaps running a campaign during a lull time at your company creates some excitement? Or engage employees by including them in the decision making process.
These are just a few examples of ideas for strategizing your next campaign. You can check out our social impact holiday calendar for a full list of holidays to inspire your next campaign!