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by Rachel Hutchisson, Business Doing Good & Blackbaud, Inc.

So you’ve made the decision to at least consider being involved in #GivingTuesday?  That’s fabulous.  Congratulations on taking that important step!

As a part of that leap, you’ve also taken the time to research and document how you have given back in the past.  You’ve looked at your expenses, your marketing plan and your overall community engagement, creating a list of what you have done and what money you have spent.  Equipped with this information, you’re ready to move to the next step.

That next step is to look outside of your small business into the community itself.  What’s going on this fall that might be an opportunity for you to engage, adopting the activity or event as a way to celebrate #GivingTuesday?  What do I mean?  Some examples:

  • Are there special events that take place in the community each October or November that bring people together to celebrate the season?
  • Are there nonprofit fundraisers or initiatives going on that might be good to support?
  • Are there volunteer opportunities or perhaps a day of giving that’s held, convening members of the business community to serve?

Creating a calendar of these events is a helpful tool.  Once you have an idea of what’s going on, add some notes about any special promotions or activities you know your business will offer.  Do you have a Halloween promotion, for example?  Or do you launch new products timed with the holiday season?  Make sure all of these items are noted on your calendar.

Why did I suggest you do all of this?  It’s simple.  With this kind of information in your hands before you make any decisions or even do real brainstorming about #GivingTuesday, you will be better equipped to come up with cool new ideas.  From experience over the first two years of #GivingTuesday, we know that organizations often struggle to come up with a good, doable idea.  So following this simple “what do we already give and what’s going on in the world around us” approach takes the pressure off.  It gives you time to get a view across what’s happening in the fall.  And with that information in front of you, ideas are bound to bubble up.

Next time, tune in to talk about how your team can help you decide what to take on this December 2nd!

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