It’s the season of giving! Sure, you may feel like your employees are already down to the wire trying to complete projects before the end of the fourth quarter, but taking a few hours to do a good deed with the company will bring your team closer together and warm their spirits. Your employees will feel happier – according to National Institute of Health, those who donated a portion of $100 activated the pleasure areas of the brain. An added bonus for monetary donations is your company can get additional tax deductions. Giving time and resources helps too – a German study found that people experience more life satisfaction. Here are 5 ways your workplace can give back this holiday season.
In its seventh year, #GivingTuesday kicks off the season of charitable giving, right on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and CyberMonday. In 2017, more than $300 million dollars were raised online alone. It’s one of the easiest ways to give, and your employees don’t even have to leave their desk. It doesn’t have to be a monetary donation, you can also donate your company’s services pro-bono. Find out ideas on GivingTuesday.org. This year’s #GivingTuesday is November 27, 2018.
Park Clean Up
Chances are, your company is located by some sort of green space. For large city parks, check with the local park association to see if they host park clean-up days or coordinate a few hours to go on your own time. Rally a group of employees to pick up trash, rake leaves, or plant trees. Plus, your employees will reap the benefits of some fresh air – they’ll feel less stressed, happier and more creative.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
During the colder temperatures, soup kitchens and shelters are overwhelmed with more people seeking warmth from the winter weather. Carve out a few hours in the morning or during lunch hour, and send employees over to ladle up soup, wash dishes and share smiles. They’ll come back to work with fuller hearts. Find a list of local soup kitchens at FoodPantries.org or shelters at HomelessShelters.org.
If your employees can’t donate time to work at a local food bank or soup kitchen, hold a non-perishable goods drive on-site at your office. 40 million people face hunger in the U.S., and you may not realize the impact a few forgotten cans of beans in your pantry, or a package of toilet paper can have. Set a period of time to collect cans, at least one week, and make it a competition between divisions to see who can collect the most. Many local food banks have drop-off options, and you can find your local food bank through Feeding America.
Instead of the usual office Secret Santa where you buy gag gifts for co-workers that likely will end up in the trash, do something more meaningful and buy gifts for local foster children or families in need. Many churches or Christian radio stations have “wish lists” posted online that list gifts for people in need. Set up a decorated table or tree in your lobby and display requests so that employees can easily pick a “wish.” Collect gifts and arrange for a drop-off, and take photos to share your good deed on social media.
Every two seconds, someone is in need of blood, according to The Red Cross. You can arrange for a mobile blood drive van to park on-site for an entire day. Incentivize employees by allowing those who donate blood to leave the office a few hours early. One donation of blood can potentially save three lives, and it takes less than 15 minutes out of your schedule.
If you need to restock on office supplies, take a break from your regular supplier and order through Give Something Back. For each ream of paper, a packet of pens, printer ink, or any other office supplies, they donate more than 70 percent of their profits to charities or grants.