Halloween is barely behind us, and already the Christmas ads and holiday displays are popping up everywhere. While few of us are feeling truly ready for the holidays, it’s a consideration that is already top of mind for businesses; there are client appreciation gifts to pull together, holiday cards to design and print, and employee appreciation parties to plan. (Does anyone still do those? Ah, the good ol’ days…)

That’s not what this post is about, though.

Giving Tuesday

Over the past few weeks, I have been proud and inspired to help a number of clients and colleagues prepare for a new annual tradition: Giving Tuesday. What is Giving Tuesday? Only in its second year, “#GivingTuesday™ (#GT) is a movement to create a national day of giving to kick off the giving season added to the calendar on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday…In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, we want the giving community to come together for #GivingTuesday.” (Learn more at the official GT website.)

FINALLY, an answer to the overwhelming and exhausting culture of consumption that seems to dominate the secular holiday season. Let’s all be thankful for what we have on Thanksgiving, and carry that spirit of gratitude into GIVING BACK.

Does your company participate in this movement, yet? Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to invest in your community, and show your clients which causes are important to you. The Giving Tuesday site provides “toolkits” to help you plan and prepare for December 3rd, including creative implementation ideas and visual assets like logos and web banners. From a visual perspective, you can have a lot of fun and inspire others through shareable, branded social media images.

And of course, non-profits can leverage the movement to aid their annual giving solicitations. As a Giving Tuesday partner, Tacoma Art Museum has pulled together a really great set of shareable images that both reflect the museum’s character, and encourage social sharing of their Giving Tuesday message through playful art-lover “profiles”:

giving tuesday

TAM’s profile: “STRATEGIC. I love the Seattle Sounders, Tacoma’s Frisco Freeze burgers, and my pet iguana named Romeo…”

giving tuesday

“SOPHISTICATED. I love sailing, learning to roll sushi, or shopping for a hat for the Boardwalk Empire season finale party.”

“PLAYFUL. I love food truck rallies and my dodgeball team is going to nationals.”

“PLAYFUL. I love food truck rallies and my dodgeball team is going to nationals.”

View more profiles at TAM’s website.

Giving back to the community is no longer an option for the socially responsible business; it’s essential to sustainable success. Giving Tuesday can be a company’s annual celebration of generosity; give generously throughout the year, and highlight your giving efforts this December 3rd.

For non-profits, this Giving Tuesday could be a key opportunity to publicize your organization’s mission and fundraising goals, and to inspire the community to take a break from consumption and rally around a greater cause.

As an individual, I look forward to seeing where this movement goes…and I already feel a bit more energized for the upcoming holidays. Now, which organization will I give to this year?…

Happy Giving!