How Brands Can Give Back to Their Customers This Giving Tuesday [Resources Included!]

Refuel Agency
6 min readNov 5, 2020


The end of the year is rapidly approaching, bringing with it the holiday season and, of course, Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is hitting its 8th anniversary this year, and many brands are taking advantage of this time to give back to the causes they care about, engage their customers with end of year giving campaigns, show customers they care, and meet their year end giving goals.

It’s 2020, and brand purpose matters in a way it never has before. Studies show that 56% of Americans will stop buying from brands they believe to be unethical, and 91% of people feel that their own actions, such as donating or buying, can make a difference. Consumers view their spending habits as an extension of their identity and their values.

So how can your brand utilize Giving Tuesday to further your mission, meet your year end giving initiatives and show your target audiences you care?

Read next: What Is Cause Marketing, and How Does it Drive Brand Loyalty?

What is Giving Tuesday?

Founded in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world”. It’s a day that encourages people to do good — and many brands take advantage of this day to meet their corporate social responsibility objectives, further social change, and give back to their communities.

In 2020, Giving Tuesday will take place on December 1st. You find official information, toolkits, templates, and resources for organizations looking to participate here.

Examples of ways that companies can participate in Giving Tuesday

Source: Amazon

Giving back doesn’t just mean end of year donations. Participating in Giving Tuesday in a meaningful way can take many creative shapes and forms that engage your employees and your customers alike.

Here are a few ways that companies are participating in Giving Tuesday:

  • Leverage your existing company technology: Last year, Amazon utilized their voice assistant, Alexa to partner with Toys for Tots. All Alexa users has to do was say, “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots”, and Alexa presents a selected toy to donate.
  • Match your customers’ donations: Patagonia matched donations that are a part of its Patagonia Action Works, matching up to $10,000 per donation.
  • For every sale, match with a donation: DOGTV gave $10 to Dogs on Deployment for every new subscription, beginning on #GivingTuesday.
  • Use your platform to garner community engagement: Fossil and encouraged followers to Make Time for Good, and Fossil donated $1 to for every #MakeTimeForGood social post.
  • Donate your product: Peloton offered free 10 and 15 minutes online classes, and for each class completed, unlocked a $5 donation from Peloton to Action for Healthy Kids.

There are so many creative and innovative Giving Tuesday campaigns out there. How can you use this holiday to support your target audiences and the causes they care about? Let’s take a look at each of the audiences Refuel Agency has worked with for over 30 years.

1. Giving campaigns to support the military audience

The military consumer audience is a special one, with over 22.6 million total military personnel, veterans, and families in the US. This community has dedicated their lives to serving our country, and naturally, demonstrate loyalty to brands that recognize this contribution and support the military community in return. In fact, according to Refuel’s Military Explorer Series TM, the military community is 26% more likely to support brands that are equally supportive of the military community.

Organizations that support military personnel, families, and veterans:

  • Team Rubicon — Serves communities by mobilizing veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises
  • AdoptAPlatoon — Provides support for America’s deployed troops
  • Armed Services Ministry — Provides faith-based, military-specific community and resources for military personnel
  • Our Military Kids — Empowers military kids through sports, art, and other activities while their parent is deployed or recovering from combat injuries
  • Team Red White and Blue — Enriching the lives of American veterans by connecting them to their community through physical activity
  • Hiring Our Heroes — Helps veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities
  • Find more here

2. Giving campaigns to support the youth audience

The Gen Z consumer audience is a generation that’s coming of age and reshaping our world in their image. They are inclusive, progressive, creative, and diverse. And more than any other generation, Gen Z cares deeply about social and environmental issues and expects brands to do the same.

According to Refuel’s Gen Z Explorer Series™, 48% of Gen Z are progressive on racial issues, 47% are progressive on gender issues, and 45% are progressive on environmental issues. Gen Z is highly socially conscious with a “big picture” mentality, and research shows that they value brands who support the causes they want to support.

Organizations that support teens and college students:

  • Stomp Out Bullying — Provides anti-bullying tools for educators, has a teen ambassador program to encourage teens to speak out against bullying, and offers a helpchat
  • Bring Change to Mind — Dedicated to encouraging dialogue about mental health with the goal of ending stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness
  • You Matter — An online community to support teens contemplating suicide
  • It Gets Better Project — Inspires people across the globe to share their stories and remind the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth that hope is out there
  • — Offers teens and youth the opportunity to take action
  • Organization for Social Media Safety — Works to protect against all social media dangers, including cyberbullying, hate speech, harassment, trafficking, propaganda, and depression/anxiety
  • D.A.R.E. — Empowers and educates students to live lives free of drug abuse, violence, and other dangerous behaviors

Read next: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing to Gen Z

3. Giving campaigns to support the multicultural audience

The multicultural audience in the US, by definition, is incredibly diverse — with a combined spending power of $3.9 trillion and growing cultural influence. The face of America is changing, with being Gen Z is the most multicultural to date. Multicultural audiences, across the board, support brands that foster inclusion, represent their experiences, and create marketing strategies that resonate with them.

Organizations that support multicultural audiences:

  • The LaGrant Foundation — Increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations
  • Rada Film Group — Creates compelling visual stories to represent the multicultural world we live in
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum — Works with communities to influence policy and to strengthen their community-based organizations to achieve health equity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders across the country.
  • — Empowers members — Black Americans and allies — to make the government more responsive to the concerns of Black Americans and to bring about positive political and social change for everyone.
  • The New American Leaders Project — Prepares first- and second-generation immigrants for civic leadership.
  • Find more here

Read next: 6 Examples of Brands That Got Multicultural Marketing Right

Consumers support brands that support causes

Especially in 2020, companies that give back and emphasize their brand purpose are coming out ahead of the pack. No longer are brands simply able to promote their products — customers expect brands to stand for something. Data shows that increasingly, consumers view their purchasing decisions as an extension of their values. Brand purpose matters.

Ready to reach your target audiences? We’ve been working with the military, youth, and multicultural audiences for over 30 years — we understand how to craft a campaign that makes an impact. Get in touch today.

Originally published at on November 5, 2020.



Refuel Agency

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