Pay It Forward with These 12 Giving Tuesday Ideas



Giving Tuesday, which falls on November 30, 2021, may not have the same level of recognition as Black Friday. But awareness of this fledgling holiday has gained significant traction since its start in 2012. Last year, Americans donated $2.47 billion and unquantifiable acts of kindness on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which has become a day for individuals and companies to give back to their communities and people in need. It’s also an opportunity for engaging with employees and clients in a way that everyone can feel good about.

Get Involved on Giving Tuesday

How can you pay it forward this year? Let’s start with some Giving Tuesday ideas for spreading the news about your doing good and encouraging others to participate in your cause.

1) Choose a cause that resonates. Is there a cause that’s especially dear to you or that others in your community could rally behind? Commonwealth advisors, for example, have raised funds for Relay for Life events by sharing personal stories of their own experiences—or those of their family members—with cancer. Others have recently made a point to give back to groups of people affected by the pandemic, such as nurses and assisted living residents.

2) Double the generosity. You could offer an employer match to employee donations made on November 30.

3) Partner up. Spread out the workload and expand your outreach by partnering with other advisors or a nonprofit in your area.

4) Be creative. A fresh fundraising idea could attract more attention than a traditional one. One Commonwealth firm’s chili cookoff fundraiser, for example, gave employees a chance to show off their cooking skills. Clients and community members got to taste the results and contribute with monetary and supply donations for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

5) Share the results. If your firm’s Giving Tuesday centers around a volunteer effort and everyone is game for the publicity, take a photo and share it widely with your social media followers. Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday.

Creative Ways to Give Back

Inspired by Commonwealth advisors who have generously given back to their communities, we’ve gathered some creative ideas that you could adapt for your firm:

6) Make goodie bags. Fill bags with snacks, gift cards, and an appreciative or inspiring note for first responders, local teachers, or residents of long-term care facilities near you.

7) Conduct a food drive. Coordinate your efforts with a local food bank, and let your clients know you’re willing to pick up their donation of food or checks made out directly to the food bank.

8) Sponsor a worthy event. You could cover the cost of a weekly support group or community meals of a nearby shelter, or the cost of makeovers or donations of job interview clothing for people looking to return to the workforce. You could also support an employee who is raising funds for a marathon tied to a charity you support.

Year-Round Giving Ideas

Your giving back efforts don’t need to be limited to one day of the year, of course. You could designate Giving Tuesday as a kickoff day for planning a charity walk in the spring, or a year-long campaign. Consider this sweet concept, inspired by a Commonwealth advisor’s fundraiser: Commit to providing a homemade birthday cake for members of your local Boys & Girl Club. Over the course of the year, this firm donated 70 cakes!

Here are some other giving back ideas that could extend past Giving Tuesday:

9) Collect care packages. Local shelters could use basic supplies, such as socks and shampoo. First aid kits could be assembled for families in need, with health products and bandages. Unwrapped toys could be collected for a holiday toy drive. Or gently used coats and winter clothing could be gathered before the really cold weather begins.

10) Institute a VTO day. Your employees could dedicate their “volunteer time off” day to a favorite cause, or a group of employees could combine their efforts. At Commonwealth, our Investment Management and Research team recently assembled lunch kits (sandwiches, Cliff Bars, and water) for the House of Mercy Shelter in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

11) Start a Little Free Library. If your office has a bit of outdoor space, a stand for sharing book donations can foster a love of reading and a sense of community.

12) Donate backpacks. Before the next school year starts, you can hand over bags filled with school supplies that you’ve compiled with the help of employees and clients.

Ready to Give?

Whether you use any of these ideas or come up with your own, we hope you’ll find a way to celebrate this Giving Tuesday!

Please consult your member firm’s policies and obtain prior approval for any sales ideas or marketing materials discussed in this post.