Happy Giving Tuesday! The Tuesday following Thanksgiving was first designated as such back in 2012 as a way to officially kick off the charitable season, and serve as a reminder of one of the prevailing values of the season. Despite getting its start in New York, it’s turned into an international movement that aims to bring together individuals, communities and organizations with shared values of service and giving back to foster this spirit all year round.

Last year, 71 different countries participated and raised $116.7M online alone! DespiteHow Local Businesses Can Participate in Giving Tuesday having a global presence, much of the focus remains on direct impact at the community level. Many local businesses lead the charge to help get the word out and give back to their communities. There’s no wrong way to celebrate, as long as you remain focused on this goal.

Some businesses choose to donate a portion of their revenue from today to local charities or organizations. Other SMB owners close their business for the day and encourage employees to join them in volunteering their time and expertise. Or, you can partner with an organization for the day to come up with some creative events or promotions.

If you’re looking for more great ideas, be sure to check out the official website of the holiday. You’ll find plenty of suggestions and opportunities for local businesses to get involved. Officially it only lasts a day, but you can maintain the spirit of giving throughout the entire year!

Word about Giving Tuesday spread through heavy social media coverage, with the #GivingTuesday hashtag. Be sure to embrace this aspect as you document how your business is spending the day!

Download our 2016 Complete Holiday Planning Kit!