Yesterday marked the seventh year for Giving Tuesday, the global day of charity fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. In 2017, Americans donated more than $400 billion to nonprofit organizations, up 5 percent from the previous year, and overall revenue from online fundraising grew by an astounding 23 percent. This year, once the tallies are all in, the spirit of giving is expected to be equally, if not more, generous.
Here are five examples of how hotels took part in this year's special day to give.
• To commemorate Giving Tuesday, Omni Hotels & Resorts said it donated more than 76,000 meals to local Feeding America food banks through its 2018-19 PGA Tour Birdies-or-Better campaign. To date, Omni's Say Goodnight to Hunger program has provided more than 14 million meals to help end the fight against hunger.
"With a long-standing commitment to giving back to those in need, Omni is proud to have provided more than 76,000 meals as a result of our PGA Tour Birdie-or-Better initiative through our Say Goodnight to Hunger program," said Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts.
Omni's first major sports league-wide sponsorship began in June 2018 and prompted the brand to develop the Birdie-or-Better campaign as a way for Omni, tour players and tournaments to come together for a great cause, while celebrating the hotel chain's two-year anniversary of the Say Goodnight to Hunger program. Through the promotion, Omni provides four meals to a family in need for every birdie-or-better made during each PGA Tour event.
Omni's Birdie-or-Better campaign for the 2018-19 PGA Tour Season started at the Safeway Open in October and will end in August 2019 at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. On average, more than 60,000 birdies and eagles are recorded during a PGA Tour season.
• Perhaps inspired by this year's #MeToo movement, New York City-based Dream Hotel Group chose to donate in several ways, from online bookings to F&B purchases, all to benefit No More, a national organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action and fueling cultural change. According to the hotel company, 24 people per minute experience domestic violence and/or sexual assault in the United States alone.
"Millions of people have bravely shared their experiences with sexual and domestic violence over the last year," said Jay Stein, CEO of the Dream Hotel Group. "We want to be part of the solution and help move the needle on these important issues. No More is on the front lines of that mission, and Dream Hotel Group is honored to partner with them to raise funds and support their efforts to mobilize thousands of communities around the world through public awareness, education and community-engagement programs."
For each guest room booked directly at any of its Dream, Time, Night or Unscripted brand properties using the promo code 50CYBER, Dream Hotel Group will donate $5 to No More. The promotion will run through Thursday, Nov. 29, and applies to stays through Nov.15, 2019. Meanwhile, Dream Hotels and its swanky sister hotels the Chatwal New York, Time New York, Time Nyack (N.Y.) and Unscripted Durham (N.C.) are offering specialty cocktails at their lounges to raise funds for No More; guests who donate will receive a complimentary cocktail with each drink purchased now through New Year's Day. To benefit from this two-for-one offering, guests must show proof of support, or they can make an on-the-spot donation by texting NOMORE to 555888 or by visiting No More's Dream Hotel site.
To encourage the company's sales teams and hotel employees to get in on the giving spirit, Dream Hotel Group said it will match their donations to No More now through Dec. 31.
• The 401-room MGM Grand Detroit is doing its part to end hunger right in its own backyard. The hotel said it would match any donations made this Giving Tuesday to Gleaners Community Food Bank, up to $25,000. Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties, providing food to 499 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies throughout southeastern Michigan. In 2017, the charity distributed more than 42 million pounds of food to neighbors in need, averaging 96,000 meals per day.
• San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants launched a promotion that nicely dovetailed Cyber Monday with Giving Tuesday. The boutique brand, whose parent company is Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels Group, offered a 25 percent discount off its best flexible rate and gave $5 per night booked to charity for stays between Nov. 19 and March 31, 2019, at participating hotels. There is a caveat: The offer is available only to IHG Rewards Club members, Kimpton's parent company's loyalty program.
The $5 per night donation will go to the Trevor Project and No Kid Hungry, two charities that have similar missions. The Trevor Project provides crisis intervention and suicide-prevention services to LGBTQ youth, while No Kid Hungry offers meals, education and advocacy to prevent childhood hunger.
As the Trevor Project's "premier national hotel partner," Kimpton supports the effort the rest of the year by offering guests a 15 percent discount off their room rate when booking if they mention the charity, and in turn the chain makes a $10 donation for every night of their stay.
• The 196-room Mahekal Beach Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, offered online shoppers surfing for Cyber Monday promotions up to 60 percent off of five-night bookings, in addition to some hefty F&B credit. But it is also donated 10 percent of all revenue generated on Giving Tuesday to local schools.
• Hong Kong-based Rosewood Hotels & Resorts said its Global Giveback Campaign to celebrate Giving Tuesday put resources behind causes dedicated to education, specifically those that unlock aspirations, develop critical thinking, strengthen knowledge and unleash potential within a variety of vocations, passions and talents. The luxury hotel group is making a 2 percent donation for group programs booked to take place through the end of June 2019 at any of its properties. The charities Rosewood is supporting are Room to Read, a girl's education program, and Centro Educativo K'iin Beh, a school the hotel company built in Mexico for the children of its 130-room Rosewood Mayakoba employees and other local youths.