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Mary Mazzoni headshot

3p Weekend: 9 Companies Doing Giving Tuesday Right

By Mary Mazzoni

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Next week is Thanksgiving. This day of food and family is followed quickly by what many call a long weekend of overconsumption. Some shoppers head out after the big turkey dinner for rock-bottom deals, while others wait until the wee morning hours of Black Friday. Those who don't want to risk an elbow in the eye opt to max out their credit cards on Cyber Monday.

But for the past four years, the following Tuesday brought us back to our roots with a global day of philanthropy and giving -- and it paid dividends for nonprofits. Created by the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Giving Tuesday boosted online donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving by an estimated 470 percent since its inception in 2012. It now includes 30,000 partners in 68 countries.

It's easy for companies to make a big hoopla over Black Friday. But fewer large American firms strive to lead the pack when it comes to its philanthropy-oriented cousin. The following nine companies are a few of the exceptions.

1. PayPal

PayPal is a lead supporter of philanthropy on Giving Tuesday and every day through its PayPal Giving Fund. The platform connects donors and charities through sites like PayPal and eBay, and it's responsible for millions in donations every Giving Tuesday.

Starting Nov. 29 (Giving Tuesday) through Dec. 31, PayPal will add 1 percent to donations made through its holiday campaign and delivered by PayPal Giving Fund.

2. eBay

eBay is a pioneer in the digital fundraising space. Growing from a single auction in response to 9/11, eBay for Charity now houses over a million charitable listings and raised $650 million in funds. Last year, eBay for Charity raised $176 globally every minute in partnership with PayPal Giving Fund. Over a million customers made a donation during checkout.

This year, eBay will introduce a new service: Gifts That Give Back. The American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, ASPCA, CARE, March of Dimes and the Nature Conservatory are on board for the charitable gift program. Shoppers can purchase gifts with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to the nonprofit organizations.

3. CVS Health

Each year for Giving Tuesday, CVS Health invites employees to nominate their favorite charity to receive a #GivingTuesday grant from the CVS Health Foundation. Most employees volunteer all year, so they have plenty of stories to share.

The grants, awarded on Giving Tuesday, provide much-needed funds to dozens of charitable organizations. Since 2013, CVS Health has granted $125,000 to 75 charities across the country through this Giving Tuesday campaign with an employee engagement twist.

4. Bitcoin

The company behind the cryptocurrency that rocked the Web is a longstanding Giving Tuesday partner. Bitcoin calls Giving Tuesday "the first ever open-source, decentralized philanthropic movement." Nice.

Through the GivingTuesday Bitcoin Challenge, the company partners with the GIV3 Foundation, which helps Canadian nonprofits get to the next level on fundraising and stakeholder engagement. The donations, of course, are in bitcoins.

5. Microsoft

On the first Giving Tuesday, Microsoft launched YouthSpark on Global Giving, a Microsoft fundraising program allowing the broader public to help empower youth. This year the company will match donations on the site, up to $350,000, to create technology education opportunities for young people around the world.

The site has raised $4.8 million and helped more than 131,000 youth since it launched in 2012, thanks in large part to donations made on previous Giving Tuesdays. This year the movement is going global, with Microsoft expanding its promotion of the day to 10 countries beyond the U.S.

6. GoFundMe

This month, GoFundMe is challenging people to #GoBeyondGiving by starting a GoFundMe for those in need, community improvement projects, or a charity. By using the hashtag #GoBeyondGiving, campaign organizers will be entered to win a $10,000 donation to their cause.

The company will ask employees to nominate their favorite #GoBeyondGiving campaigns, and it will surprise over 100 campaigns with $1,000 donations on Giving Tuesday. Additionally, all GoFundMes started on behalf of charities will be part of the company's new partnership with PayPal Giving Fund, with over a million charities to choose from.

7. ACCO Brands

The company behind school supply labels like Mead and Five Star will partner with the Kids In Need Foundation this Giving Tuesday. "We hope that by providing essential school supplies to children nationwide, we are energizing youth with the confidence that comes from having the tools needed to succeed," Tom Tedford, president of ACCO's North America office, said in a statement.

8. Thirty-One Gifts

This Giving Tuesday, Thirty-One Gifts will match any donation made to World Vision with a donation of their own product, up to $2 million in value, to families and communities in need around the world.

The products include sturdy utility tote bags and warm clothes that can provide much needed help in the winter months to vulnerable families in Africa, eastern Europe and Central America. This is the third year World Vision and Thirty-One Gifts, which sells purses, totes and home décor, have partnered for Giving Tuesday. In 2015, volunteer health workers in Burundi received utility tote bags, which helped them carry their equipment and keep medical supplies clean and safe as they visited remote, low-income houses for checkups.

9. QVC

This year, QVC says it will become the first company to globally support Giving Tuesday. The video and e-commerce retailer will offer a specialty shirt from Peace Love World, a line of inspirational women's clothing. Sixty percent of the purchase price of every shirt will benefit Nest, a global nonprofit committed to the social and economic advancement of women by supporting female artisans.

"This Giving Tuesday, we are celebrating the women who embody the same tried and true spirit that we so value in our QVC entrepreneurs," Rachel Ungaro, vice president of fashion and beauty merchandising for QVC, said in a statement.

Want to get involved?

Fantastic! Just remember that all nonprofits are not created equal. Some have shady records. And others simply aren't managed well, meaning fewer resources go toward those who need it most. Make your dollar go further by using a charity rating system. Before donating, look up the benefiting nonprofit on a service like Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or GiveWell.

Where will you be donating this holiday season? Let us know on Twitter by tagging @triplepundit or share your thoughts in the comments!

Mary Mazzoni headshot

Mary has reported on sustainability and social impact for over a decade and now serves as executive editor of TriplePundit. She is also the general manager of TriplePundit's Brand Studio, which has worked with dozens of organizations on sustainability storytelling, and VP of content for TriplePundit's parent company 3BL. 

Read more stories by Mary Mazzoni