The close of a year brings with it so many opportunities for companies to gather employees for parties, potlucks, luncheons and outings. Carving out time to acknowledge the diligent work of your staff is absolutely necessary. While each tinsel-tipped party might be hosted anywhere from your local posh restaurant, to the CEO’s country club or even on location at the headquarters, there is one thing you can do no matter where you get festive: you can do good.
The holiday season is one of the best times to get in on the momentum of inspired giving. The best part about including giving as part of your holiday party: it doesn’t require tons of extra time, work and energy (which is perfect because you can put that savings into creating an energized employee gathering).
Here are ways to infuse some do-gooding into your corporate holiday party plans all while maintaining your commitments to corporate social responsibility:
Swap out the old standard Secret Santa with a challenge to gather toys for charities like Toys for Tots. Nothing could be easier than dropping toys off at the door of a party and then making a beeline for the eggnog.
Before the Party, Give
Offer a morning off to staff and meet up in the afternoon to volunteer as a group wherever there is the most need in your community. It could be at a shelter, a food shelf, a school, a community center, a senior center, an animal shelter—the needs are many but the workers are few! Find where you’re needed and plug in there. Then, follow the volunteering event with your holiday party—a great way to celebrate both your company’s successes and keep the spirit of giving and generosity going into your celebration.
Paint to Party
Some organizations bring volunteering opportunities to your party venue making giving that much easier. One such place instructs groups on the different colors to paint tiles or canvases that are then brought together to create a mural for installation in community centers or local schools. Paint your way into a party.
Buying items for things like hygiene kits for displaced persons or school kits for children are the first step in the giving process—next is assembly. There might not be anything easier than organizing an assembly line to box up, stuff or assemble relief kits before heading off to the cookie tray and open bar.
Offload, Then Party
There are many organizations that gather gently used items like winter coats, hats and mittens for homeless children and adults. Some organizations gather books for children, useable computers and electronics and even gently loved toys. Consider encouraging employees to celebrate abundance by passing on what they no longer need, use or want and then crank the music and boogie down.
Including some do-gooding as part of a holiday office party means employees will get to participate in something they probably wouldn’t seek out on their own. Large gatherings of people armed with a vision for doing good can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.
Throwing a holiday party for employees is fun and should always be so. Doing good at a party isn’t meant to replace the very real need to enjoy and celebrate—it is meant to enhance the spirit of the giving season in easy, fun ways.