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 already shown us just how important it is to employees and customers that companies live out their values and operate with purpose. From advocating for social change to overhauling discriminating workplace cultures, people want companies to step up. This shift was confirmed by the recent announcement from the Business Roundtable, a powerful group of corporate CEOs, that businesses have a commitment to all stakeholders, not just shareholders. The majority of the 200 corporate leaders in attendance signed a statement underscoring that businesses also have a responsibility to employees, communities, customers, and the environment.
Against this background, the upcoming holiday season is the best way to show your company’s values and inspire your stakeholders with the giving spirit. Your company could be missing out on a huge engagement opportunity if you don’t get involved with the community this holiday giving season. 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 engage your employees in volunteering their time and skills. This time of year offers seasonal volunteer opportunities such as getting toys and other gifts to children, visiting with people who might otherwise be alone, ensuring warmth for people without adequate shelter, and delivering special meals on days of celebration. But volunteering doesn’t have to take place in the form of hands-on activities at toy warehouses, soup kitchens, and hospitals. Studies show that the return on investment for skills-based volunteering outperformed traditional volunteering by 125% in all but one of the benefits measured.
Plan ahead: In-person volunteer opportunities, especially for large groups, tend to book up quickly at this time of year. They are also likely to be popular with employees, so plan to have enough volunteer slots for everyone who will want to participate.
2. Customers want options for linking purpose with their purchases.
Shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is driven by deals and discounts. However, initiatives such as #GivingTuesday and REI’s #OptOoutside have shown people are looking for alternative ways to spend their time and money. Launch a #GivingTuesday consumer cause marketing campaign or other purpose-focused campaign at the end of the year to position your products to stand out and add value. Need to convince your Chief Marketing Officer? Eighty-six percent of Americans would purchase products from a company that clearly demonstrates its purpose, according to the latest 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. ‘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 sure employees are aware of your company’s matching gift policies and that you have a hassle-free online corporate holiday giving solution available to capture the end-of-year flurry of donations.
4. Giving the gift of thanks goes a long way.
Forty-two percent of companies planned to give holiday gifts to employees last year, and on average they spend $65 per employee, according to ASI. The most popular gift is the gift of choice—44% of companies give gift cards. Giving employees the opportunity to support issues and communities that matter to them creates a personalized experience that is greatly valued. Best of all, receiving a gift makes employees feel “appreciated,” “grateful,” “thankful,” and “happy.”
Plan ahead: Thoughtful gifts, like customized GlobalGiving Gift Cards, take time to curate. Factor in plenty of time to get the budget and design approvals you need.
Looking to demonstrate your company’s values this holiday season? Let us help you get started with your corporate holiday giving plan.
Featured Photo: Help an Indian orphanage this Christmas by The Good Shepherd Agricultural Mission