The holiday season may seem far away, but now is the time to create your company’s end-of-year corporate holiday giving plan.
This year has shown us how important it is that companies live out their values and operate with purpose. People are demanding that companies step up for social change and overhaul workplace cultures. Employees vote with their feet by leaving workplaces they don’t love and consumers spend on products with a cause.
Against this backdrop, the holiday season is a great time to show your company’s values and inspire your stakeholders. Get involved with the community or miss out on an important engagement opportunity. But how can you create a corporate holiday giving plan that is both authentic and effective?
Here are four ways for your company to make the season special for all your stakeholders.
1. Employees are looking for ways to volunteer.
The season of giving isn’t all about donating money—you can also encourage employees to volunteer their time and skills. Seasonal activities like delivering gifts and serving meals were popular in the past. But volunteers don’t have to be hands-on at toy warehouses, soup kitchens, and hospitals—indeed, the pandemic has made this challenging. Luckily, studies show that the benefits of skills-based volunteering outweigh traditional volunteering by 125% in almost all ways.
Plan ahead: In-person volunteer opportunities for large groups can be tricky these days. Seek outdoor venues if possible, or find activities for home or virtual settings.
2. Customers want purpose behind their purchases.
Shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is driven by deals and discounts. However, initiatives like #GivingTuesday and REI’s #OptOutside have shown people are looking for alternative ways to spend their time and money. A #GivingTuesday cause marketing campaign or other purpose-focused campaign can help your products stand out. Need to convince your Chief Marketing Officer? Eighty-six percent of Americans would purchase products from a company that demonstrates its purpose, according to research from Porter Novelli/Cone. Meanwhile, global studies show that 40% of consumers seek purposeful brands and trust in brands to act in the best interest of society.
Plan ahead: A cause marketing campaign where a percentage of sales are donated will require legal review and a commercial co-venture agreement.
3. Giving thanks goes a long way.
About 40% of companies give holiday gifts to employees, and on average they spend $65 per employee, according to ASI. The most popular gift is choice—44% of companies give gift cards. Charitable gift cards could be a good option if your employees value the opportunity to support their communities. Your company might be overdue to show some gratitude. When Workhuman surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. workers during the pandemic, almost half of employees reported that they are not thanked frequently by their employer or colleagues. The good news is receiving a gift makes recipients feel “appreciated,” “grateful,” “thankful,” and “happy.”
Plan ahead: Thoughtful gifts, like customized GlobalGiving Gift Cards, take time to curate. While eCards can be sent nearly instantly, factor in plenty of time for your budget and design approvals.
4. ‘Tis the season for increased giving and generosity.
On #GivingTuesday, one employee giving platform saw a 135% increase in total donation dollars and an 83% increase in the amount per donation. If that’s not evidence enough, 50% of nonprofits receive the majority of their annual donations in the last three months of the year. At GlobalGiving, for example, 25% of last year’s donation dollars were given in the month of December. In some years, 12% of annual giving occurred on just the last three days of the year.
Plan ahead: Make employees aware of your company’s matching gift policies. Ensure you have a hassle-free online corporate holiday giving solution available to capture the end-of-year flurry of employee holiday donations.