How employers are contributing to Giving Tuesday

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Companies are helping their employees pay it forward this year with Giving Tuesday initiatives. The annual holiday falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and encourages people to donate money or time to charities and fundraisers as an antidote to Black Friday and the hectic holiday spending season.

Last year, $380 million in donations were made and the initiative has raised over $1 billion worldwide since it began in 2012.

Employees are eager to make their mark when it comes to supporting social causes, and they want their employers to share those values too. According to a survey by Office Perks, 70% of companies have seen an increase in employees who want to incorporate more social purpose work to their jobs. This year, employers are offering many opportunities for employees to engage and give back. Here's how companies are planning to contribute to Giving Tuesday.

Volunteer Work
Volunteering has become an important element of PTO benefits. In 2018, 24% of employers offered volunteer time off, up from 16% in 2014. Volunteering improves an employee’s mental health: 77% of employees say volunteering is essential to employee well-being, according to Deloitte.

This year, Toms is closing their stores and offices until 1 p.m. to encourage volunteering at local organizations. Additionally, Harrah’s Resorts will be sending employees to volunteer at local nonprofits in the area. Insurance company AIG is sending employees to tutor students in local schools and is also partnering with Rise Against Hunger to pack meals.
Matching Funds
Providing matching funds is an excellent way for an employer to encourage giving and maximize their impact. While 66% of employees currently offer a matching funds program, just 10% utilize this benefit, according to the America's Charities' Snapshot Employer Research report. Facebook plans to match up to $7 million dollars in donations made through their social media platform. JPMorgan Chase provides a $2 credit for each $1 donated into an employees’ charitable spending accounts and the money is used to support various non-profit organizations of the employee’s choosing.

Incorporating charitable giving year-round became easier for employees at Fidelity: they launched a charitable giving benefits platform earlier this year, which helps employees manage their donations, compare charities, and apply a company match.
Social Media
Encouraging engagement during Giving Tuesday is a simple way to boost awareness for social causes. The hashtag #givingtuesday was used 21.7 billion times in 2018, according to GivingTuesday. CVS asks employees to nominate a charity to receive a #GivingTuesday grant and has donated more than $125,000 to 75 charities throughout the U.S. T-Mobile is partnering with Feeding America this year for a number of charitable initiatives. For example, every time someone tweets #GivingOnUs, the mobile provider with donate 10 meals to the nonprofit. They hope to donate up to five million meals through the campaign.
Donations
Donating goods is another way to make a concrete impact this holiday season and companies are offering opportunities for employees and consumers to participate. Grocery delivery service Imperfect Produce is encouraging customers to reuse their delivery boxes and fill them with non-perishable pantry items. Drivers will pick up the boxes and donate to food banks. Dress for Success, a nonprofit that provides business clothing free of charge worked with designers and stylists to curate a clothing a jewelry collection and sales will go directly to the non-profit.
Automation and Tech
Incorporating automation and tech makes donating quick and easy. H&M will automatically donate 5% of gift card profits to benefit GLAM4GOOD Foundation, a nonprofit that provides makeovers and clothing for those in need. Since 2013, Amazon has allowed shoppers to automatically donate .5% of all purchases through Amazon Smile. The program has given over $80 billion dollars to 1 million charities. They will also be using Alexa systems to encourage donations to Toys for Tots. Users can say “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots,” and choose from a list of products. The item is then shipped directly to a collection center.