There are a number of ways that employers can support employees in their desire to give back, especially during the holiday period. Employers themselves, can, of course, contribute to a charity directly, but, in the spirit of engagement, it is more special to allow employees a say over how the dollars or donations are being distributed. Some employees will want to give to a specific charity that supports a cause near and dear to them. Others will want to give to a specific person who they know is in need over the holidays. Below is a description of the many ways that employers can facilitate the spirit of giving.
Workplace Giving through Deductions
If you work for a company, organization or the federal government, chances are you’ve had the opportunity to participate in a workplace giving program. Workplace giving is an easy and efficient way to make tax-deductible donations to the charities you care about with donations taken directly out of your paycheck.
This type of giving can be set up through payroll and can be a one-time gift or can be set up as per paycheck deductions of either a percentage or dollar amount. Many organizations will choose to match, at least to some degree, the dollars that employees contribute.
Employer Provided Donations
Some employers give their employees each a certain amount that they may contribute to any charity or person of their choosing. The employers only ask, in return, is that the employee share what they choose to use the dollars for. This can yield especially heartwarming stories of how the employee “spent” the money and what the surprised recipient’s reaction was. Sharing these throughout an organization can spur others to think about ways they can actively better the life of another.
Certainly not all contributions need to be in cash. Opportunities abound over the holiday period for employees to bring in food for food drives. Numbers of organizations will welcome the extra set of hands if groups of employees are available to help sort, shelve and package food items for delivery. Some services, such as Meals on Wheels will allow the delivery of the food baskets also.
There are wonderful opportunities to make a child’s holiday bright be buying an extra gift or two as you are shopping for others on your list, to brighten a deserving child’s holiday. Large organizations such as the Marines run annual campaigns like Toys for Tots, but smaller neighborhood organizations run gift drives as well.
Organizations may choose to set up an Angel Tree where an employee picks the name of a family or child and on the back is a description of the wants/needs of that family. Companies can provide ornaments to replace each card that is chosen until the whole tree is filled with beautiful ornaments, a reflection of what has been given back.
These are just a few ways that each and everyone one of us can feel what the true meaning of the holidays is all about- giving freely of our time and love to those around us.