It’s that time of year when companies turn outward with the holidays and express thanks with gifts for clients and suppliers – and with donations to nonprofit organizations that power social and environmental impact in our communities and around the globe.
While it’s still October, it will soon be time to make these purchasing decisions, so we thought we’d provide a few of our favorite “conscious” options to help make your job easier – whether that’s corporate gifting or corporate giving.
Try a Delicious Narrative this Holiday Season
Food is always a welcome gift during the holidays, especially when it’s delicious and comes with a story. CEO and Founder Jennifer Piette created Narrative Food in 2010 to help peoples’ food dollars make an impact. This year, she launched Narrative Provisions to curate custom corporate gift offerings with small-batch pantry goods that tell stories of people and place. The Narrative team of elves will create something especially for your needs, and your purchase will also benefit a related nonprofit organization. This woman-owned and operated B Corp is certified for its social and environmental practices, and its food offerings support soil health, the health of local economies, and the health of your customers and friends.
Empowering a World of Good through Gift Giving
Gifts for Good is another woman-owned business and Certified B Corporation. (Do we notice a trend here?) Co-founder Laura Hertz started this venture because she saw from her own experience in the corporate world that there was a missed opportunity for gifts to empower the world to help people and the planet. Gifts for Good has a broad offering of corporate gifts and offers all-in-one solutions, handling everything from storage to fulfilment. And it’s got a cool, digital GIFTforward™ option enabling employees and clients to pick their own gift or donate the value to a cause of their choice. Gifts for Good supports the work of more than 60 nonprofits and social enterprises in 50 states and 72 countries around the globe.
Beauty Products Created by Refugee Artisans
Your clients are beautiful, right? So why not send them natural beauty products handcrafted by refugee artisans? Sitti – yet another woman-owned business co-founded by Noora Sharrab and Jacqueline Sofia – is committed to the self-reliance of refugee and displaced communities through long-term employment opportunities and skill development training. Known for its 100% olive oil soaps, Sitti offers subscription boxes of bath and body products made by refugee-led brands, and it also has a corporate gifting service of gifts that give back. Their website walks you through a curation process to help you find just the right gifts. You can give it a go here.
A Little Goes a Long Way
B1G1 is a nifty giving platform designed especially for small and medium-sized businesses to incorporate giving into everyday actions. Gain a new customer – provide a text book to a young child in India. Sell a new product – plant a tree to save orangutans in Indonesia. Celebrate a milestone – provide business training to young women in Guatemala. It’s not holiday specific, but why not use this holiday season to get on board and give all year long in small ways that have a big impact around the world: You’d be surprised how a little giving goes a long, long way in the developing world. B1G1 uses the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework and is also a Certified B Corporation.
Good Partners Make All the Difference in the World
Global Giving is a nonprofit that’s been helping for-profit companies with their giving since 2002. Their reach extensive – it has nonprofit partners in more than 175 countries. Global Giving provides customizable tools and solutions that companies need to create and enhance corporate giving strategy, empower stakeholders, and support high-impact projects around the world – whether that’s in your local community or far beyond. Global Giving offers a suite of other services as well – from charitable gift cards (great for the holidays!) to employee giving programs.
Where Giving 1% is the Equivalent of Giving 110%
Is this the year you amp it up for the planet? Can’t sleep because of climate change? Oh, and another question – did you realize that just 3-4% of all charitable donations in the U.S. go to environmental groups? Well, here’s an ongoing way you can do something about all the above: Join 1% for the Planet. This environmental nonprofit represents a more significant commitment for companies, as membership in this nonprofit requires 1% of your annual business revenue to be donated to environmental nonprofits. (Individuals can now join as well – the same metric holds true: 1% of annual salary.) The good folks at 1% for the Planet make all of this relatively easy by vetting nonprofit partners and cataloging them for your impact interests, from climate change to water quality.
Wait – There’s More
Remember the Small Nonprofits in your Community
While most nonprofits got hit hard during last year’s onset of the pandemic, grassroots nonprofits that do the good work in your community, day in and day out, got hit especially hard. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, 40% of nonprofits with annual budgets under $500,000 saw a decrease in donations compared with 29% for larger nonprofits.
And Don’t Forget Sweat Equity
The past 18 months have been tough sledding economically for many businesses, so if it’s not in your budget to give financially, you and your employees can always volunteer with a local nonprofit. It’s a great team-building activity with true meaning, and there are so many worthy opportunities, from serving meals to the food insecure for Thanksgiving to building bikes for holiday presents for refugee children.
One volunteer activity we’ve found especially rewarding is helping sort and package gift bundles with Toys for Tots. It’s a lesson in gratitude, humility, and the enduring spirit of families and children. You can find a local Marine Toys for Tots location here. They also have a corporate sponsor program if you are so inclined.
Another helpful volunteering tool is certified B Corporation Catchafire, a data-driven technology platform that facilitates the free flow of your skills-based talents by matching them with the social impact organizations that could use them the most. Much of this is happening virtually during these times; you can learn more about opportunities and how their platform can help you share the fruits of your experience and expertise here.