It cannot be denied that this year has led to catastrophic difficulties. However, this year has also seen a raised awareness of the importance of community. It has also increased interest in supporting those who need it and thanking those who deserve it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are in need at present.
This year, the gift ideas I’ve been asked to provide for clients have emphasised the personal, community and charitable to a larger extent than before. I’ve been asked to source more unusual, locally produced, artisan and charitable giving gift ideas, in line with the new emphasis on community support.
Here are some ideas that will help you to thank clients and staff, or wish them a happy Festive Season.
Hand-Written Charity Cards
Many charities sell cards, calendars and small gifts and a percentage from the sale supports the charity involved. Although the likes of MoonPig and Funky Pigeon are convenient, sending a handwritten charity card is a much more personal and thoughtful approach which will be very much appreciated. Perhaps because of the time it takes to consider the message, write it by hand, and address the envelope, a hand-written card isn’t usually the first choice in business. However, I encourage my clients to write cards by hand, or have me do this, and here is why.
When I worked for an organisation with a large team, I persuaded my manager to let me send Christmas cards to everyone. I wrote them all by hand, signed my name and then had the other managers sign them too. They were well received. The following year, the managers decided that signing the cards had taken too long. They had a card made in the printing department, everyone in the management team signed it, and it was reproduced. Unfortunately, this card wasn’t well-received by the teams as they felt that management didn’t care enough to bother to write the cards by hand. A hand-written card shows more thought and care. The fact that you’ve taken the time to do this is appreciated by the recipient. Plus, who doesn’t love an envelope arriving in the post which contains something personal rather than a bill?
Shop local for small gifts to send to clients and staff.
If you can’t get out to the shops then look on Facebook and Instagram for locally based businesses who offer gifts. You’ll be supporting your local business community at a time when this is very much needed. Ideas include candles, food items such as pickles, brownies or cakes, locally produced artisan wine, spirits or, in the case of my home town, Gin. There are so many really great options available when you look closely. Alternatively, Not On The High Street and Etsy are both great sources for beautiful, unusual and quirky gift ideas, hand made with love. There is something for just about every person you can think of.
You may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fun charity initiative.
The MD could volunteer to wear fancy dress to your regular Video call catch up meeting in return for a donation to your nominated charity.
You could have a food drive with everyone donating what they can afford to the local food bank.
If finances allow, the company could offer to match the amount donated by staff so that your team can make a bigger difference to the chosen charity.
You could also make a donation to charity on behalf of each of your regular or key clients. You could add this information to their (handwritten) Christmas card detailing the amount and the charity involved. Using cards sold by the charity itself will further help your charitable cause.
Encourage staff to volunteer in the community.
Providing free time off for staff to do this will benefit your business and your team. This type of initiative has a range of benefits including:
- Making a real difference in your local community
- Increasing mental wellbeing for the individual
- Boosting the company’s social responsibility credentials.
- Greater visibility for your business.
Gift Ideas that support your community
Christmas can be a particularly challenging time of year for those in need. Sadly this year there will be a lot of people in this category. If you manufacture something that could be useful then you could donate your product to charities who would benefit from that. Businesses which produce something lovely or luxurious might offer the product as a raffle prize or a direct gift for service users.
For a service-based business, offering time pro bono to a charity is a cashless way of spreading good cheer. Most will be very glad of volunteers and it is incredibly rewarding to know you are helping others. Giving your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give to a charity.
Looking for some help managing your festive rewards? Look no further.
Wondering how you will find time to do all this? Wonder no longer.
Whether you need someone with neat handwriting to write your cards. Someone to source the right gift for each client. Or some research to find out how best to help your chosen charity, I can help. Which leaves you with the time you need to source the family gifts, make the Christmas cake or look after the business needs of your lovely clients.
Click here to buy some of my time so you can spend your own time better.