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Charitable initiative

Rachael Luckham

Last year we launched our first-ever ‘Giving Tree’. A charitable initiative that connected businesses and individuals who wanted to support a community cause, especially during the pandemic.

At Naturally Social, we regularly give to charity and are involved in charitable initiatives throughout the year. But a giving tree has been something we’ve wanted to do for a couple of years: inspired by The Giving Tree in Seattle.

So, What is a giving tree?

A giving tree is a way to encourage donations for specific items that are needed by your chosen charity.

In normal circumstances, you may have a tree in your place of work with itemised tags. People wanting to donate can then select a tag and shop specifically for that product.

As we were not able to have a tree, we created a wish list, on Amazon, and listed items that would benefit our chosen charity; Dreamdrops.

How do you set up a wish list?

An Amazon wish list is simple to set up and allows you to set a specific address for gifts to be delivered to.

First, add a new wish list. Use the name of the charity as the wish list name and be sure to add a description.
Thank people for visiting the wish list and include a small piece of information about your chosen charity.

Helpful Tip: Make sure you tick the 3rd party delivery agreement box. This allows the deliveries to come to your nominated address whether they are supplied directly from Amazon or one of their partners.

Adding items:

Before shopping and adding your items be sure to get the input from the charity. The charity will know what items are best for the people they are supporting.

Once you have a list created add each of your items to your designated wish list.

Helpful Tip: To help maximise the number of people who will shop from your wish list, try to keep each item to around £10 each.

Describe each item and add a quantity:

Add extra information in the description for each item you’re adding to the list. Sharing what each item will do or how it will benefit the recipient is a great way of providing additional insight. This extra information can help the shopper to see how their donation will help.

Be careful not to add too many items initially. You can always go back and top up numbers as things get purchased.

Helpful Tip: If there are items that are more urgent than others, you can mark these are high priority. This option is found in the same section as adding a description and quantity.

Adding a description of what each item will do or how it will benefit the recipient.

Publicise your list:

Now that your wish list is ready to go, do not forget to shorten the link using tools like Bit.ly or Ow.ly.

Use your social media channels to tell your audience why you’re running a giving tree or wish list. You can also share information about your charity and how they support people or communities.

Make sure to post the link to the wish list too. If someone struggles to find your list, they may forget to donate or could choose to donate elsewhere.

Try to make your social media posts more visually appealing. Using one of many free design tools out there, Canva for example, will help you create so great assets.  It’s all about grabbing their attention.

Don’t forget to remind your audience of any last delivery dates. As our charity needed time to sort through donations, we had a cut off date of the 6th December 2020.
As gifts start arriving make sure you’re thanking people for their donations!

Helpful Tip: if you are in networking groups, do not be shy about sharing your wish list with them. We received some fantastic support from BNI Pathfinder Chapter after our Business Manager shared the wish list with them.

Keeping up to date:

Keep checking on your list to see whether people are purchasing the items for your charity. If the items are being delivered directly to the charity do not forget to keep them up to date!
There can be a lot of deliveries arriving at the same time so it could become overwhelming for the recipient if they are not prepared!

Helpful Tip: Be sure to document your deliveries and share the photos on social media. Not only does this help give updates to your audience it could also prompt/remind others to visit the wish list themselves!

How did our wish list do?

We launched our wish list on 29th October 2020 and had a cut off date of the 6th December 2020, to allow the charity to sort through and allocate their donations.

During this time, we promoted it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. We also mentioned it to friends and family and spoke about it in a networking group close to where the charity is based.

In 5 and a half weeks we were lucky to receive 96 gifts from generous individuals and businesses. The gifts that were donated equated to just short of £500!

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