The holiday season is a perfect time for charitable works and giving.
I mean, somebody somewhere thought so and created this: #GivingTuesday
After a gluttonous holiday followed by things like Black Friday, Shop Local Saturday and Cyber Monday, isn’t a little giving back just what we need to set our minds right for the holidays ahead.
Just like honoring your customers with a Customer Appreciation Week, a day of giving back is not nearly as effective as a year round mindset of giving back. A study reported by US News and World Report tells us that helping others makes us happy. That’s good for you, good for your company and good for your family.
- Survey your team (or your family). Find out what’s important to them.
- Set aside a budget of time and money to dedicate to giving back.
- Do the research to find effective ways to give and volunteer. I recommend starting with your local United Way. They can connect you with dozens of non-profit organizations who need help. I also recommend reading the book “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…And Yourself.” Because if you are setting out to help, you want it to really, you know, help.
- Do the thing you decide on. Whether you choose to shop for a local food pantry because your family cares about hunger as an issue, or walk as a team in a local Relay for Life, because your company cares about people impacted by cancer, just do it.
- Talk about your experiences afterward. Volunteering is much more impactful on you, your children, your employees, when you take the time to reflect on your experience.
- Based on your experience, tweak your plan and go back to Step 1. Repeat annually.
The season of giving is a great time to get started.
Then just keep going.