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9 Holiday Workplace Giving Campaigns for 2021

Cori Hammoor headshot
Cori Hammoor • Director of Marketing

Employees, investors, and consumers care a lot about a company’s social impact. And with high expectations around corporate purpose, the holiday season is the perfect time to take your workplace giving program for a test drive – or kick it into high gear.

Since the holiday season adds to HR, People, and Social Impact leaders’ plates, we created a list of 9 holiday giving campaign ideas that will save you time and engage your employees in giving! We broke it down into two groups: 

  • 4 tried-and-true giving campaigns that our customers have proven highly successful
  • 5 out-of-the-box giving campaigns that will make your company stand out

Tried-and-true workplace giving campaigns

Ideas that our customers love 💛 and have proven highly successful. 

[1] Matching donation campaign

Give employees the opportunity to donate to nonprofits or causes they care about and boost their impact through a matching donation campaign. 

This will create a personalized employee experience that they will love. Plus (the best part), the campaign supports the nonprofits making a difference in social issues and causes employees care about most. On top of a very personalized holiday treat for employees, matching donation programs have many benefits.

To implement a holiday matching donation campaign, you can either implement it with your internal team or an external team. Here is a guide on both. For timing on the campaign, we recommend either the week of Giving Tuesday (Nov 29 - Dec 3) or Giving Tuesday through the end of the year (Nov 30 - Dec 31). Having a span of time, rather than one day, will allow you to spread the word more to ensure an effective and engaging campaign. 

[2] Employee volunteering

Volunteer opportunities range from low-lift events like each department “adopting a family” in the local community to winter coat drives to skills-based volunteering that offers strategic planning services to nonprofits in need of fundraising help.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, corporate volunteering has evolved in a variety of engaging ways. Skills-based and virtual volunteering has become popular as nonprofits need more than restocking shelves and serving at soup kitchens. Most nonprofits benefit from professional marketing, accounting, strategic planning, etc. Plus your company will keep the culture-focused, team-building initiatives alive.

To implement holiday volunteer events, we suggest understanding what your employees care about most (here are 5 questions you can start with). This will ensure high employee engagement, plus it will guide you to nonprofit partners. 

[3] Corporate gifts to brand-aligned or employee-voted nonprofits

Celebrate and share your gratefulness for a wonderful year by supporting nonprofits that are making a difference in social issues and causes.

Corporate gifts are a great way to share your dedication to doing good in the world with your community. We all know doing good is good for business. We recommend aligning the nonprofits with your brand or your employees’ favorite cause (which you can find by asking these 5 questions). 

[4] Cause Credits (in place of holiday gifts!)

Instead of simply giving gifts to employees, give them (something we like to call) “Cause Credits.” Think of the same benefits and process as a matching donation program, but the only donor is your company (rather than both the employee and company). So your company would pick the donation amount, and the employee can donate the gifted money to any nonprofit or cause of their choice.

Almost 50% of companies give gifts (average of $37/employee) during the holiday season, with 44% of those gifts being gift cards. Giving gifts to employees is a brilliant way to express your company's appreciation for employees, but we believe gift-giving can go a bit further.

Executing our tried-and-true holiday workplace giving campaigns

To save HR, People, + Social Impact leaders stress, chaos, and TIME during the holiday season (and year-round), Percent Pledge powers all of these efforts for businesses of any size. We have built an easy and efficient way for companies to implement all of the “tried-and-true” holiday giving campaigns, from customized matching donation programs to partnering customers with vetted nonprofits for volunteering and corporate donations. Schedule a call with us to learn more!

Out-of-the-box workplace giving campaigns

Now let’s spice things up 🔥.

[1] Internal holiday giving competition 

Host a holiday giving competition with departments, company branches, employee resource groups (ERGs), etc. Then the team that has the most participation in a volunteer event, raises the most money for a nonprofit, or reaches a set giving goal wins the friendly competition. 

This will increase engagement with teams that are less likely to be engaged, like the sales team.

[2] Social media campaign

Create a hashtag or social media post with a drive to engagement. For example, for the number of shares, likes, or comments on the hashtag or post, your company can donate the same amount in dollars to a nonprofit. 

This will boost brand awareness and engage your whole community (employees, customers, and stakeholders). 

[3] Engage customers in giving

Allow your customers to vote on a nonprofit that your company will donate $X to. We recommend providing a short list of pre-vetted nonprofits in a simple survey. 

After the results are in, you can further engage your customers by sharing the great news.

[4] Office holiday (giving) party

"Givify" your office holiday party by adding a $X company-sponsored donation for every employee who attends. 

This makes a big impact on a nonprofit or cause and serves as an extra incentive for employees to show up! Announcing the winning nonprofit at the party is an excellent addition to a great event.

[5] Puppy booth

Ask your local animal shelter to bring puppies into your office to boost morale and raise donations. Set up a booth in your town hall area (or walk it around the office) and get to fundraising. Pets are $5, pics are $10, and 100% of proceeds go to a partner animal shelter. If there are no shelters nearby, simply ask the employee with a puppy (there's always one) to bring it in. The funds raised can then go to any nonprofit. 

This will be a great way to engage those puppy lovers (90% of your office)!

These unconventional ideas will take a bit more internal work but are a great way to make your workplace giving efforts stand out to employees, customers, and your community. To implement, we recommend partnering with other internal teams but know that the social impact experts at Percent Pledge are always here to help. Schedule a call with us for guidance on your favorite ideas!

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