What is one impactful and creative way that a business can give back during the holidays? To help you with your philanthropic efforts and giving back to your employee this season, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From having a bike assembly party to volunteering your expertise, here are seven impactful and creative ways your business can give back during the holidays:
1. Host a Secret Santa Event
One fun activity that we did to support small businesses was to host a Secret Santa with our company. Every employee was given $50 to spend at a small business in Old Town Scottsdale, and we were tasked to find the perfect gift for our recipient.
It was a great way to bond with some co-workers that I do not work with frequently and celebrate our mission to help elevate small businesses. Replicate this idea or add a different spin. For example, you can purchase from a local nonprofit or make a donation to a charity on behalf of another co-worker.
— Thylan Le, Markitors
2. Volunteer Your Expertise
One of the most powerful ways I've seen a business give back is in person. They didn't simply donate money to some charity they picked out of a hat. They donated their personal time to the charity.
Time is more valuable than money, in my opinion. If you want to make an even greater impact, you should show up in person and donate your time during the holidays. This shows that you truly do care about the people you are helping because you are there with them in their time of need. This will not be lost on them.
— Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
3. Keep Philanthropy Local
Support an effort that serves your immediate community. Whether it's donating to a local school, sponsoring a mural or helping with a cleanup project, giving back to local causes improves the community you serve, and it can make an impression on potential customers.
Bonus points if you choose a cause that aligns with your business. For example, if you run a restaurant, supporting a soup kitchen would give back in a way that aligns with your mission.
— Elliott Brown, OnPay Payroll Services
4. Adopt a Nonprofit
Many times during the holiday season, nonprofit organizations can be inundated by truckloads of well-intended but unneeded donations of stuff. If your business wants to give back during the holidays, adopt a nonprofit as a company and develop a relationship with that organization's staff.
Many nonprofits have wish lists of items — items that will actually help them accomplish their missions. Please encourage staff to purchase these specific items or make a monetary gift.
If an organization has a mission that resonates with your business but not a published wish list, reach out to staff and ask. Few nonprofits will turn down the opportunity for a rewarding partnership.
— Stephanie Cory, Stephanie Cory Consulting
5. Give Meaningful Recognition to Employees
Instead of the usual plain gift card at the holiday party, include a written note explaining to the employee why you recognize their hard work. The more personal the recognition, the better, whether it’s a handwritten card from a leader in the company or a short toast to each employee at the holiday party, virtual or not.
Giving each employee personalized recognition goes a long way. Recognition year-round has a greater impact on engagement, loyalty and retention than just about any other leadership behavior. This demonstrates that you genuinely value your workforce, and you’ve noticed their individual contribution to the team.
— Connor MacDonald, The Ridge Wallet
6. Align Your Mission With Fundraising
While donating to a nonprofit is always a great initiative, it's a lot more impactful when businesses support a cause that they're incredibly passionate about. In doing so, organizations can channel their combined enthusiasm and let it fuel the endeavors they undertake.
— Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
7. Have a Bike Assembling Party
A great way to give back during the holidays is to purchase bikes for your team to assemble. Having an "assembling party" allows employees to enjoy the process while working together toward their goal of a completed bike (with no parts leftover!).
Businesses can partner with Child Protective Services or another organization that would allow children to come to the end of the "assembling party" to be surprised by receiving a new bike and joining in the fun. This allows your employees to see the impact of their efforts.
— Dawn Myers, Guided Leadership Solutions
The holiday season is the perfect time to begin giving back within your community and organization. You can also continue the giving spirit throughout the rest of the year showing meaningful recognition to employees and fulfilling needs in your community.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.