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Top Four Holiday Cause Campaigns of All Time

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

The holidays are for spending time with loved ones, the exchange of gifts, and most importantly, giving back. Each holiday season, hundreds of giving campaigns launch in an effort to inspire donations and give back to the community. Some of these campaigns are interesting, some are great, and a rare few are amazing. In celebration of the giving season, we have rounded up what we consider to be the Top Four Most Amazing Holiday Cause Campaigns of all time:

First on our list is the “Share the Love” Event which began in 2008 by Subaru. The concept is a simple one; for every Subaru purchased between November 19th and January 4th, the company will donate $250 in your honor to one of their selected charities. In past years, they have supported organizations like The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Forest, The Whosoevers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity and the USO. This year the national charities they have chosen are Make-a-Wish Foundation, ASPCA, Meals on Wheels and the National Park Foundation. In their 13th year, they are on track to reach a total of over $200 million raised since the inception of this event.

Why we love it: This campaign is a win for everyone involved. Subaru builds positive brand awareness with their customers, the customer gets a new vehicle and the great feeling of giving back, and one of Subaru’s charities of choice receives a financial boost to keep doing good. We love that they have opened their arms to a variety of charities, allowing the customer to select which one is dearest to their heart.

Do the same for your brand this holiday: Select four different items from your store and have a portion of your customers purchase go towards a different charity. Make it a competition to see which charity will receive the most donations over the span of a month!

Next up is UPS’s #WishesDelivered Campaign that launched in 2014 and continues to be a holiday season tradition. This campaign encourages people to share good deeds that they perform during the holiday season by using the hashtag #WishesDelivered. Each time the hashtag is shared on social media, UPS donates $1 to one of its charity partners. This year their three charities are The Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club and Marine Toys for Tots. To date, UPS has donated over $500,000 based on video shares. You can visit their website to see this year’s inspiring wishes that UPS is helping come true this holiday.

Why we love it: We love seeing companies harness the power of social media and call on the public to help spread their positive message. This campaign is a great example of advocacy, in which UPS customers share positive sentiment for the company and their involvement in spreading joy in the community. This is also a great example of grassroots campaigning that helps bring more good into the world in two ways: a good deed and a donation to a worthy charity.

Do the same for your brand this holiday: Consider giving back when your audience uses your hashtag to share an inspiring story. This creates brand awareness while donating to a charity of your choice—it doesn’t get much better than that.

In 2004, a natural collaboration began between Toys“R”Us and Marine Toys for Tots. This partnership was based on a basic principle: one was the largest toy retailer in the U.S. and the other delivered toys to ensure no child went without a gift during the holidays. In the years to come, this partnership raised over $23.6 million and collected 3 million toys! With the help of celebrity endorsements, like Shaquille O’Neal, and effective PSA’s, we consider this one of the most successful campaign partnerships ever.

Why we love it: In terms of brand alignment, this was the perfect partnership. As a seller of toys, it was a great idea for Toys“R”Us to combine their efforts for a cause with Marine Toys for Tots who delivered toys. Outside of it being a great partnership, we loved how this campaign brought four different groups of people together: the Toys“R”Us employees, the local shopper, the Marines and families in need.

Do the same for your brand this holiday: While Toys“R”Us is no longer in business, the Marine Toys for Tots mission remains the same and they need your help now more than ever. Consider setting up a toy donation bin in your store for customers to give hope to children through a toy this Christmas. Become a part of this amazing cause by donating a toy today.

And now for our top holiday cause campaign of all time: the Macy’s “Believe” Campaign. In 2008, Macy’s began a digital campaign to help spread holiday magic. They invited people to write a letter to Santa about the power of giving and drop it off at a Santa Mailbox in Macy’s or share it on their website. For each letter that was posted, Macy’s donated $1 to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation, up to $1 million dollars. With the help of old Saint Nick and social media, the campaign was a huge success that grabbed the attention of the public with its old-fashioned sentiment and went hand-in-hand with the magic of the season. To date, Macy’s has raised more than $21 million through their “Believe” campaign and has granted more than 15,500 wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

Why we love it: Macy’s use of an age-old belief, i.e. writing a letter to Santa, contributes both to the magic of the season and makes an impact. This campaign is a great example of fostering engagement by encouraging people to write a letter that would result in a donation with impact. They proved that an old idea paired with a new purpose is all it takes to inspire the public.

Do the same for your brand this holiday: Encourage creativity by asking your audience to draw a picture of the holiday spirit that can be shared back to your brand. Ask your audience to share on social media with a unique hashtag and make a donation to the charity of your choice if you receive a certain number of posts.

Each of these holiday campaigns continues to tell an authentic story that inspires the public, and each online strategy is paired with on offline act – making a purchase, doing a good deed, writing a letter, or giving a gift. These campaigns continue to inspire us, and hopefully they will inspire you too this holiday season. Who knows, perhaps your brand will be responsible for dreaming up the next amazing holiday cause campaign.

Wishing you a happy holiday season full of the joys of giving.

Have a great idea for a campaign but need help turning that idea into a reality? 1st Degree can help. Visit our website to learn more today!


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