‘Tis the season of giving, and as the year winds down, we find ourselves in a time when participation in acts of kindness and generosity is at its peak. The holiday season is not only about festive decorations, delicious food, and gatherings, but also an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world around us. In the corporate world, this is a perfect moment to channel the holiday spirit towards social impact, community building, and engaging employees, whether they’re working remotely or in the office.
At the heart of it all lies the importance of creating a sense of community and togetherness among your employees. The challenge is ensuring that these holiday social impact campaigns are not only fun and interactive, but also require minimal effort from your employees. After all, the holidays should be a time for celebration, not stress.
In this blog, we’ll explore ten inspiring holiday social impact campaigns that are tried and true, inspired by real companies who have successfully used these campaigns and/or are planning to this season. These campaigns are designed to foster engagement, build stronger communities, and unite employees across all office locations. And, as an overarching theme, we emphasize the idea of “doing more with less.” In other words, we’ll focus on making every campaign efficient, sustainable, and manageable so that they benefit both your company and your employees.
1. Toy Drive🎁
A toy drive is a great way to rally your team and spread holiday cheer. There are many opportunities to create excitement around a toy drive. Make it competitive and track through departments. Host an event to end the drive like “gift wrapping” or “stuff the stockings” during business hours. Create buzz through marketing and communications. If your company offers donation matching, customize goods by unit pricing for match opportunities. Visit Toys for Tots’ ‘Virtual Toy Box’ for an amazing resource on unit pricing as well as gift ideas.
2. Holiday Sweater Contest👔
Give out prizes for different categories, like ugliest sweater, most original, funniest, etc. Prize winners will have an amount donated to a nonprofit of their choice, or a Millie gift card works great too!
3. Karaoke for Good🎤
A success story that boosted participation from around 10% to 47% company-wide, this team had managers pick a nonprofit that they supported that employees could give to. The nonprofits with the most support meant that those managers had to perform and be recorded singing a karaoke song chosen for them. Top-down engagement at its finest!
4. Burrito Breakfast🌯
A very successful ticketed event that is hosted by a ‘Veteran’s Network’ employee resource group in honor of Veteran’s Day. Employees were encouraged to purchase breakfast burritos by donating to the nonprofit and then showing your donation receipt to receive your breakfast burrito.
5. Baked Goods for Good🧁
Set-up similar to a burrito breakfast, a bake sale is the same concept. Reduce costs and engage your team by encouraging employees to provide the baked goods for good.
6. Thank-a-Thon Greeting Card Event✍️
Spread holiday cheer with an act of kindness, holiday-themed event where the team writes out thank you cards to clients and/or coworkers together.
7. Santa Run🎅🤶
A twist on the classic fun run, all participants wear Santa gear. Incentivize with prizes, like the top 3 finalists will have a pool of money donated to the nonprofit of their choice.
8. Decorate your Desk🎀💻🎀
Challenge your employees to create a holiday themed workspace, in the office or at home. The winner gets to choose a donation to the nonprofit of their choice.
9. Holiday Madness🎉
Boost holiday spirit with a Giving Madness bracket full of holiday themed nonprofits. Check out a list of some suggested nonprofits you can support:
- Make a Wish
- Toys for Tots
- Christmas Tree Santas
- Toys for Kids
- Angel Tree
- Christmas SPIRIT Foundation
- Salvation Army
- One Simple Wish
- Operation Christmas Child
- United Way
- Pay Away the Layaway
- Feed the Children
10. Card Bonanza🧧
A successful Millie team event last year, Card Bonanza was hosted around Giving Tuesday, focusing on 3 cause areas: Veterans, elderly, and hospitalized children. Team members prepared for the event by researching “best practices” for each category and presented them to the team. Resources and mailing addresses were provided by nonprofits like Support our Troops, Gifts for Seniors, and Cards for Hospitalized Kids. Prep also included receiving an Amazon gift card for purchasing greeting cards and pens/markers of their choice (this was a remote event!). After each cause area was presented, time was allotted for writing together while sharing experiences and/or listening to music. Such a fun and impactful event!
*Note that many of these events can be combined with each other. One group hosted a “5 Days of Engagement” theme with a different event each day for a week.
In the spirit of creating a holiday season that’s not only meaningful but also joyful, we encourage you to lean into your own company culture when considering these social impact events. What feels right for your unique team and values? Remember, the goal is less stress and more fun, ensuring that everyone can participate in the festivities with enthusiasm. As you embark on these holiday campaigns, let your company culture shine through, and let the season of giving be a time of unity, laughter, and a shared commitment to making the world a better place.