The holiday season is one of the best times of the year. It’s the perfect time to celebrate the year that’s past, to show appreciation to your team, and – perhaps most importantly – to give back to your community.
Giving back is one of the best ways to bring your team together during the holidays. You can make a real difference during the holiday season. And you’d be in good company. In recent years, many of the world’s largest and best-known corporations have made it a point to focus on charitable giving.
Here are four companies that do an excellent job of giving back to and making a difference in their communities during the holidays:
Google – and their employees – are notorious for going above and beyond with their holiday giving. Every December, the company hosts the Google Global Giving Week.
Employees are encouraged to donate to the charities of their choice – with Google matching each donation dollar for dollar. In 2016, Google and its employees raised over 24 million dollars for various nonprofits and charities. They provided much-needed support and resources locally (money raised went to survivors of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland), nationally (nearly $800,000 was raised for Planned Parenthood), and globally (donations were also sent to the International Rescue Committee and the United Nation’s refugee agency, UNHCR).
And the giving back didn’t stop there. Google is known for giving extravagant holiday gifts to their employees. However, in 2016, they went a different direction. They ended up donating 30 million dollars worth of worth of technology (including Chromebooks) to U.S. schools on their employees’ behalf.
For years, eBay has been a top shopping destination for holiday shoppers looking for unique gifts. In 2016, eBay decided to use their holiday shopping destination status as a way to give back with their Gifts The Give Back initiative.
The Gifts That Give Back initiative allowed charitable organizations – like Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA, and the American Cancer Society – to list donations for sale as holiday gifts. So, instead of buying a $25 gift, a shopper could instead buy a $25 donation to the charity of their choice and gift it to someone else.
The initiative was so successful that eBay extended the program and now offers charitable donation purchases year-round.
There’s giving back during the holiday season – and then there’s Patagonia.
In 2016, Patagonia made an unprecedented announcement. They donated 100% of their sales on Black Friday (which is one of the busiest shopping days of the year) to “grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations.”
The initiative (which many customers called a “fundraiser for the earth”) was met with an overwhelming response. While the company projected 2 million in sales on Black Friday, the final number was a record-breaking 10 million. Every penny went to support local communities around the globe.
New York is notoriously cold in the winter. For the nearly 5000 homeless individuals who live on the streets, getting the winter gear they need to survive can be a challenge. That includes socks.
Unfortunately, socks are one of the least donated items to homeless shelters. This makes it especially hard for the homeless to get this much-needed item and stay warm through the harsh winter months.
But in 2016, popular apparel company Hanes decided to do something to change that. They donated 500 pairs of socks in 2016 to homeless New Yorkers.
In addition to their support for the local New York community, Hanes also sponsors a nationwide holiday sock drive at their retail locations. They donate 200,000 pairs of socks each year to the Salvation Army.
More and more large companies are giving back during the holidays. However, you don’t have to be a massive corporation to support your community during the holiday season! No matter how big or small your company, you and your team can make a difference in your community this holiday season.
Some ways you can give back include:
- Hosting a holiday food drive and donating the food to a local pantry
- Sponsoring a toy drive and donating the gifts to children in need in the community
- Donating a portion of sales to a local charitable organization
- Donating products to a local charitable organization
- Giving your time for a local holiday event
The holiday season is an excellent time for companies – big and small – to give back. Now you have some inspiration from these four companies. It’s time for you to get out there and give back right along with them!