Amplify Austin, Giving Tuesday, and other city-wide fundraising days might get more attention, but there are others just as important to our community. HAAM Benefit Day comes to mind, benefiting the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians. It enlists hundreds of sponsors and bands to give the community a chance to donate, with proceeds contributing about one-fourth of that nonprofits’ operating budget.
Then there’s the annual Give 5% to Mother Earth Day, a city-wide day where businesses, retailers, and restaurants pledge to give five percent of the day’s sales to the Give 5 fund, which is then distributed evenly among nine nonprofit organizations working to preserve and protect our local environment. In nine years, hundreds of Austin-area businesses have gotten involved, contributing more than $500,000. It’s a great way to give customers and clients a reason to support you.
Right now, Austin Give 5 is looking for businesses to sign up – in fact, it’s first big deadline is this Monday, March 19. Registering by that date will ensure they’re on as many print marketing materials as possible.
This year’s Austin Give 5 day is Friday, April 20, 2018, Earth Day weekend. We talked to Brandi Clark Burton, organizer of the Give 5 campaign, to learn more.
1. Where did the idea for the Give 5 campaign come from? How did it start?
This program started nine years ago as a collaboratively branded fundraising day among a few environmental groups. Today, each participating organization puts in some money at the beginning of the season to help pay for the organizing and marketing then the donations that come in are able to be split among the charities.
Austin Parks Foundation
Friends of Barton Springs Pool
Hill Country Conservancy
Shoal Creek Conservancy
Sustainable Food Center
Pease Park Conservancy
Texas Campaign for the Environment Fund
Waller Creek Conservancy
2. It looks like there are businesses that sign up year after year. Why do you think they sign up? How does it benefit them?
This program really is an effective Austin business promotion program that also supports nine great organizations working to keep Austin clean and green. It’s open to any Austin business that wants to support the environment and sees the value of this city-wide marketing effort.
3. Are you looking for mostly retailers and restaurants? What kinds of businesses are best suited to participate?
The program certainly features a lot of restaurants and coffee shops, bars and breweries, movie theaters, corner stores, clothing and jewelry stores, we also have a wide range of service businesses from yoga studios, solar companies, law firms and a wealth management professional. Truly any Austin business can sponsor or be a participating business.
4. When a business signs up, what are their next steps?
Signing up literally takes about 90 seconds. From there we post a funny but thematically appropriate welcome tweet and add them to the list of participating businesses on our website. As the event draws closer we will provide them with sample social media content, posters, and as appropriate, rack cards and/or table tents. We encourage them to use this event as an opportunity to run a promotion, body a party or do something extra special to draw attention to their business. We really want them to win as well as the environmental groups and w will help spread the word!
5. What deadlines to businesses need to know about?
While businesses can sign up all the way through April 20 they will get included on the posters and rack cards if they register by 5 pm Monday, March 19.
6. What can the rest of us do to help? Do you have a fundraising goal this year?
The best way that people can help is to study the list of participating businesses and plan out your Friday, April 20 to eat, drink, shop, play, exercise at as many of our generous participating businesses as possible, Both of our solar companies are offering benefits for people who reach out to them all month. I want to increase our fundraising by more than 25% over last year. The good news is that all of our numbers are up and we’re doing more promotion than ever.