Since its launch in 2012, “Giving Tuesday” — the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving — has become an internationally-recognized day of giving. Following two of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday — generous consumers celebrate the day by digging into their wallets and donating to causes they care about the most.
Despite the pandemic, data from GivingTuesday.org showed 35 million Americans donated $2.7 billion — a 9% increase from 2020 and a whopping 37% increase from 2019. What does this say about charitability? People like doing nice things for others, especially during the holidays.
Corporate giving is especially important during the fourth quarter. For one thing, employees report higher job satisfaction and demonstrate greater workplace engagement when their companies give back to the community. Business owners interested in charitable giving for the holidays can learn more about its benefits and implementation here.
Benefits of Charitable Giving
Research conducted by Charities.org found 71% of workers say workplace culture should support giving and volunteering. When organizations engage staff members in giving programs, gift-matching and other types of giving beyond monetary donations, they instill a greater sense of purpose, motivation and connectedness among team members.
The largest demographic of workplace donors is young professionals between 18 and 34. About 58% gave through company philanthropic programs in 2020, primarily with interests in social and racial equity causes. In addition to improving morale and engagement through charitable donations, studies reveal generosity is particularly beneficial for one’s health and well-being.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, volunteering lowers blood pressure, stress and depression while boosting people’s self-esteem — it also prolongs a person’s life. Researchers have also discovered older adults over 55 who volunteered for at least two organizations had a 44% decreased likelihood of dying within five years.
Likewise, another recent study found that generous giving positively impacts the brain’s ventral striatum — the part that gives off feelings of happiness — delivering greater life satisfaction. Naturally, life satisfaction trickles down to the workplace. A study from the University of Oxford revealed happy employees were 12% more productive, increasing weekly sales by three.
4 Approaches for Charitable Giving this Holiday Season
Businesses interested in charitable giving for the holidays have several options. With the many benefits in mind, leaders can boost their company culture and increase staff engagement with these four giving strategies.
1. Make a Donation
Donating to a charity is the most straightforward and obvious way organizations can give back during the holiday season. In addition to funding efforts to help others in need, businesses can strengthen their reputation among workers and the community.
Organizations should select charities that best reflect their mission and values. Asking employees for feedback on the types of causes or charities they’d prefer to support is an excellent way to build working relationships within the organization and shine a light on deserving team members.
According to a recent survey released by global giving software company Benevity, 86% of staff members would prefer to have a say in how businesses allocate charitable donations to different causes.
2. Organize a Charity Event
Money donations significantly impact charities and the people and causes they serve. However, organizing a corporate charity event can take it a step further.
After employers select whichever foundations reflect business values, they can create unique methods for funding. During the holiday season, organizations might consider the following fundraising ideas:
- Raffle tickets for gift cards, vacations and other rewards
- Silent auction
- Collaborating with community members to organize special events with proceeds for charity, such as wine tasting or a fashion show
- Walkathons, in which employees can garner sponsor donations for a good cause
- Trivia night
- Proceeds from company-branded merchandise or staff-created cookbooks and holiday albums
- Charity holiday concert featuring local musicians
Given that a charity event is successful, businesses can raise impressive amounts of money to donate to their respective causes.
3. Provide Free Goods and Services to the Community
Beyond financial giving, organizations can make an impact by providing free goods and services to charities, businesses and individuals in their communities. Employers should consider what their company offers to consumers and ways they can deliver them for free to those in need during the holiday season.
For instance, many students from low-income households struggled to learn remotely without internet service at home during the pandemic. According to EdWeek.org, a mere 25% of low-income individuals are aware of the new federal emergency broadway program created in response to COVID-19 — only 17% are enrolled.
Technology businesses and internet providers may choose to provide complimentary internet services or devices to enhance student learning. Other tech businesses may offer repair services to fix equipment and learning tools at schools that receive little funding.
Businesses may even want to offer freebies to the causes they support. Every little bit counts in ensuring charities operate effectively.
4. Encourage Corporate Volunteering
Corporate social responsibility goes beyond funding and commodity contributions — acts of kindness are just as impactful for society. Nearly 140 million people volunteer annually, contributing $400 billion to the global economy.
Engaging employees in volunteer activities is an excellent way for companies to give charitably this year. Some exciting volunteer initiatives may include:
- Participating in a clean-up event for a public space.
- Partnering with a community beautification program — for instance, painting building murals downtown, helping construct homes or improving structures throughout the city.
- Visiting residents at nursing homes or hospitals.
- Assembling care packages for homeless shelters or domestic violence shelters.
- Tutoring children in the community.
- Holding a donation drive for local charities.
- Provide holiday gift-wrapping for a cause.
Workers often enjoy volunteering for a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment. As a team-building activity, volunteering can also deepen working relationships and improve workplace participation and retention. Charitable giving through volunteer work might be particularly enticing to younger professionals within the labor market.
One study demonstrates 53% of young professionals agree their happiness greatly depends on whether they work for an organization committed to making an impact. Another 35% are willing to take a pay cut to work for a business that participates in charitable work.
Charitable Giving Makes the Holiday Season Merrier
When businesses give to charity, they benefit from better health and a more productive and happier workplace. However, charitable giving shouldn’t stop once the holiday season ends. Companies should implement corporate social responsibility initiatives year-round.
Devin Partida writes about investor technologies, big data and apps. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack.com.
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