A group of volunteers pack donation boxes at a charity food bank.
November 28 is Giving Tuesday and a day to make a positive contribution to your community and the world through a donation of your time, resources, or services. — Getty Images/South_agency

Giving Tuesday, which began over a decade ago, is a global movement promoting generosity year-round. It encourages people to make positive contributions, whether it’s through donations, time, or advocacy.

Giving Tuesday falls on November 28 this year, allowing businesses to step up and support charitable causes during the holiday season. Here are five ways your business can participate in Giving Tuesday.

[Read More: Should Your Business Donate To Charity? Here's What You Need to Know]

Donate to meaningful causes

You can start small by exploring local opportunities in your area or start a giving circle with friends, family, or other local businesses. Decide on a cause or charity that’s close to your heart.

You might also consider sponsoring a matching gift program for employee donations to their chosen charities. You can dedicate a time frame or day to set aside a portion of your sales to a charity of your choosing as another easy way to give back.

If you choose to donate a percentage of your sales to charity, it can encourage customer participation while also fostering goodwill. If you give customers the opportunity to choose a charity through a list of options, you can create a more engaging Giving Tuesday experience.

Promotion of these charitable sales is crucial and can be done through social media, blog posts, or advertising on your website. Be sure to track donations if you plan on claiming tax deductions.

Coordinate a drive

If you and your team have a little more time on your hands, you can gather and donate goods to local charities, including food pantries, thrift stores, women's shelters, or even disadvantaged small businesses. Donated items can range from everyday essentials (e.g., food, clothing, and toiletries) to business-related supplies (e.g., printer paper, ink, used furniture). Think about where you want to source these goods — from your own inventory, employees, customers, or suppliers — and then create a designated area for donations, like a drop-off box, to encourage donations.

These donations are also eligible for tax deductions. If you’re donating items from your own inventory, ensure your inventory count and accounting records reflect these changes.

Additionally, your small business can organize a community-wide collection drive, inviting donations for distribution to various charitable organizations. Consider inviting customer nominations for local organizations in need of your products and offer them at no cost.

[Read More: How to Choose the Right Charity for Your Business]

As a business, you can offer your services as a donation to other businesses or consumers.

Volunteer as a team

Volunteering time is a meaningful way businesses can support charitable causes. As a business owner, you can offer the option of taking paid time off to your employees to volunteer at charities you approve. First, collaborate with your chosen charities to establish employee volunteer programs and determine the number of hours employees can volunteer.

If you want to volunteer as a company, make sure you pose the time as a volunteer opportunity rather than a mandatory one to avoid pressure on employees. Consider virtual volunteer options for those who might not be able to make it in person, such as organizing a “volunteer day,” where employees can conduct donor outreach, email campaigns, or host virtual workshops.

Give talent

As a business, you can offer your services as a donation to other businesses or consumers. For example, an accounting firm may offer limited free year-end tax preparation assistance.

Donating services can be arranged directly through your business or in collaboration with a charitable partner, helping you to connect with those in need. Consider volunteering your skills and expertise as a small business, such as human resources, technology, or marketing, to support your favorite causes.

[Read More: 6 Inexpensive Ways to Thank Your Customers This Holiday Season]

Spread the word on social media

Using social media to drive traffic for donations to your campaign is a great way to strategize and spread the word. Here are a few tips to make a lasting impact:

  • Add hashtags. Depending on the social media platform you use, including one to five hashtags can improve the visibility of your campaign (such as #GivingTuesday). Try avoiding irrelevant hashtags and hashtags that have yet to build traction.
  • Leverage video content. Video can boost customer engagement and exposure while capturing attention, increasing interaction, appealing to younger donors, and conveying powerful stories.
  • Include your campaign link. Ensure your link leads to the appropriate page, whether it’s a campaign overview or a direct donation page, to streamline the donation process for supporters.
  • Create content ahead of time. Prepare for Giving Tuesday in advance by planning messages and compiling text, images, and graphics in a document.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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