If you’re like most, you’d like to move beyond the office fruitcake baskets and ugly sweater holiday parties and find meaningful ways to spread gratitude and joy to your valued clients and colleagues. Step aside, White Elephant. This season, we’ve compiled a list of creative ways to give back to the communities in which we live and do business:
Donate in your client’s name to a nonprofit like Heifer International, which sends small business baskets to economically disadvantaged women, providing them with the training and the startup capital to launch their own ventures.
Volunteer to serve a hot holiday meal to senior citizens or community members in need. Most likely, your neighborhood soup kitchen needs help pouring coffee, slicing pie and ladling soup.
Keep a family warm through winter’s wind, rain and snow. Gather lightly used child- and adult-sized coats and blankets, and deliver them to your local homeless shelter.
Put Pen to Paper
Spread holiday cheer to men and women serving overseas. Host a card-writing party, where guests pen uplifting messages, and mail the cards to a nonprofit like Operation Gratitude.
Sponsor a family through a local Adopt-A-Family program. Shop as a team, checking off items on the family’s holiday wish list, which may range from clothes to toys to groceries.
Visit a local retirement home. Sing carols or bring decorations and holiday cards to brighten the seasons of seniors who may otherwise spend these weeks alone.
Feed the Hungry
How many pounds of food can your team collect to feed hungry families? Challenge a neighboring company to a food drive, and donate to a nonprofit like Second Harvest Food Bank.
Toys as Tickets
Hosting an office holiday party? Ask each guest to donate a new toy at the door. Take the collection to a nonprofit like the Toys for Tots Foundation for distribution to local children.
And lastly, don’t let your giving spirit be like an unopened gift. People like doing business with companies who care, so be sure to take photos, when appropriate, of your activities and share them on your social media pages or in an e-blast or newsletter!