Stop, Something Is Missing From Your Company’s Holiday Shopping List

Slowly put away the cash bonuses. Forget the popcorn tins and decorative fruit bowls.



You might want to reconsider your gifts to employees this holiday season.

Contrary to the assumption that people are happiest and most motivated when they earn money to spend on themselves, a growing body of research reveals that prosocial rewards encourage better overall well-being.

So, science tells us that bonuses and equivalent material gifts might not be the most effective employee gift idea. What’s a good alternative? Charity gift cards.

Here are seven reasons to add gift cards to your company’s shopping list this holiday season:

1. Create a happier workplace.

Research in the Psychological Bulletin found that employees in prosocial workplace environments experience greater well-being at work and achieve higher job performance. Employees who donate through GlobalGiving, the world’s longest-running fundraising community for nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country in the world, validate this finding again and again in their qualitative feedback. An employee at the technology company Ekaterina said, “I was really happy when I received this charity gift card. Thanks to my employer for this great opportunity. A job is not only about working, it’s also about life.”

2. Reward high-performing employees.

Studies from Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Behavior and Experimental Economics found a substantial increase in employee performance in a purpose-driven workplace environment; and this effect is amplified amongst already high-performing employees. Companies with high employee engagement and productivity typically report higher business growth, revenue, repeat customers, and profits.

3. Celebrate holidays and milestones.

The flexibility and social impact of a charity gift card allows you to use it to reward performance, acknowledge milestones, or just celebrate the holidays. According to a survey from KPMG and feedback from GlobalGiving’s corporate partners, employees actually prefer to be given opportunities to make a positive impact over trinkets. Not only do they prefer it, but research reveals employees that are engaged are more productive at work and will remain at a company longer, both of which increase their value and ultimately contribute to your bottom line.

4. Impress prospective or new hires.

The average company spends more than $4,000 and more than seven weeks recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new talent. Hiring the right people is expensive. Use charity gift cards to incentivize applications, entice promising applicants, and engage with millennials, who are actually willing to take a pay cut to work at a company that takes social impact seriously. Proving an opportunity to do good before a prospect is even hired will help set the tone and give them an idea of what your company culture is like.

5. Make customers and clients feel special.

Like employees, a 2017 report from Marketing Science shows that customers, too, are more willing to pay a premium price for goods and services if the company selling them is engaged in some kind of philanthropy. Charity gift cards can help make your cause marketing tangible. Customers even purchase more of a good or service when a donation is included in the transaction. They can also be great gifts to thank your top customers (especially millennials).

6. Build connections with business partners.

In today’s dynamic and tech-centric markets, strategic business partnerships are increasingly valuable to the success of your company or organization. Charity gift cards can be a great way to sweeten a deal and let a potential partner understand your priorities. Shared value is the crux of any effective business partnership. Gift cards can also reward partners that perform well, or help you collaborate with your partners to maximize the impact and reach of your philanthropic activities. The reality is that these partners can break or make your brand—charity gift cards can help accomplish the latter, providing mutual benefits.

7. Improve your bottom line.

The flexibility of charity gift cards make them perfect tools for engaging all kinds of audiences at all points in a business lifecycle. Gift cards can help you improve your company’s financial performance by cultivating more engaged and energized employees, prospective hires, customers, clients, and business partners. Perhaps, best of all, every time a recipient uses a charity gift card, it means your company is improving lives and doing good in the world outside your walls. After all, isn’t that better than another trinket?


Featured Photo: 25 years of fighting child poverty by Die Arche Kinderstiftung Christliches Kinder- und Jugendwerk

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