Gift Guide For Your Holiday Office Ideas
Can we be frank for a minute? Holiday gift-giving in the business setting can be a bit, well, uninspired. But more and more, workplace and volunteer colleagues serve as extended friends and family — our Getaway2Give family does! We hope this Holiday Gift Guide will enliven and warm up your gift-giving game.
Two key dos and don’ts!
First – the “don’t.” Whether you have a hundred employees and volunteers or less than ten, a lot of companies and nonprofits make the mistake give their employees (and volunteers) some company-branded tchotchke usually given away at trade shows — coffee mugs, sweatshirts, even pretty paperweights. And we get that this seems like a good option as year-end holiday gift giving can be pretty expensive and these can be ordered in bulk. But we still say step away from the heavily branded items. Because nothing says holiday warmth worse than “Hey, would you please advertise my company for me?” It’s okay if you drop in your logo subtly as a reminder of your mission –maybe on the back of an item or in a small embossing — but it shouldn’t be an overwhelming image.
Now, the do! We recommend giving department managers some “guided autonomy.” Your team members and board members are the lifeblood of your organization. Managers have better relationships with these staff and volunteers and can make smarter choices, so give them a budget and let them do the shopping.
The guidance for the “guided autonomy?” Here are some ideas from our gift guide that can get them started.
Gifts like these show that you truly know and understand the people in your office. Think through the things your volunteers got really excited about when they secured items for your last event or auction. If your chairperson was super excited about the NBA team gift basket, then two tickets to a game could be a win. Did they ooh-and-ahh over the spa services on that Punta Cana trip? Then a mini-spa day at a local hotel or aesthetician spa is a great gift.
In one volunteer organization we’re familiar with, the leadership team of a major event received framed caricatures of themselves as judge, policeman and lawyer — all themed around a “jail and bail” event. Since all photos are digital these days — capture, print and frame some great shots of your volunteers and team members. Or choose a piece of art related to something that person likes or your organization’s mission.
Nobody is overworked more than staff at non-profits! Depending on the environment and personality of the company, you might give your staff gifts that encourage a little office-down time. Games can be sedate — a quick Google search of “designer tic-tac-toe” yielded a range of beautiful desktop tic-tac-toe games that would make a nice office conversation piece. Conversely, if you’ve got one of those wacky, uber-creative workplaces with some fun, collaborative space, supplying your staff with Nerf guns could be a great way for everyone to blow off steam after a long week. Or maybe invest in a team gift like an A/R headset with some games.
Nothing says “I know you” like personalized reading material. Does Sheila in accounts like mysteries or science fiction? Does Craig in marketing prefer sports biographies or literary fiction? If you can find out throughout the rest of the year, then you really look like you know your associates very well. If you’re not sure, consider giving books that you found particularly inspirational, helpful, or entertaining yourself. We’ve curated a list for you that might be helpful. Here’s part one, of our reading and watch lists!
Be sure to include a personal note inside the cover to each person explaining what the book meant to you or why you selected the book for that person!
GIFTS ABOUT HOBBIES
Again, if you know your staff and volunteers well enough to know their hobbies, you can be creative with their gifts. Do they like cooking, wine, fitness, or music? Are they into reading or creating art? Or are they more interested in architecture, history, or travel? Again, you can give them a small, personal gift that captures their interests and shows them you know who they are. (Or double dip from our holiday gift guide, and get them books about their hobbies.)
GIFTS THAT “GIVE BACK”
Yes, you’re a non-profit in need of donations, but no one knows better than you how precious each dollar is. Join the giving ecosystem with gifts that give back. My Modern Met is an organization that promotes artists globally and they have curated a gift guide list of great gifts that give back that we think is inspiring! But in our gift guide we also recommend you think local — hit up your local museum, a local arts organization, a farm-to-table collaborative that sells local honey or jams, or even your local animal shelter by buying gifts that help bring good cheer.
Remember how we said don’t do branded gifts? Well, we stand by that with a caveat for non-profits. If you have a mission-related vision for a gift that doesn’t scream “promote our organization” — that can be a really nice gift. For example, there is a hospitality village in Orlando, Florida that provides specialized lodging for kids with life-threatening illnesses who are granted theme-park-wishes. Each year, they select a drawing from one of their visitors that features a holiday theme. They turn it into a nice quality ornament. The back of the ornament has the name of the child and a quote from that child about their wish experience and, yes, the organization’s logo. But every year, volunteers and supporters look forward to seeing that year’s selection. It’s become a lovely tradition, with long-term volunteers dedicating small trees to their collected ornaments! You might apply that type of mission-related art or beneficiaries’ quotes to framed artwork, bags, serving plates or other non-cheesy giveaways (i.e., avoid hats, tee-shirts and generic mugs). It’s personalized without being promotional!
TEAM BUILDING GIFTS
If you group is tight, then you might consider a staff or a board retreat as a way to build team that doubles as a fabulous gift. Treating everyone to a spa weekend, an outdoor retreat, or even a few days in a new city can boost morale. And it can be done cost-effectively if you eschew hotels and seek out shareable luxury properties like those in our Getaway2Give destinations. You might consider organizing a volunteerism aspect of your trip by participating in a team-building activity where you help build a school, dig a well, or whatever the people in that location need. As a non-profit, participating in that giving ecosystem is right up your alley (and yes, it can have the bonus of being great public relations and social-sharing for your organization!)
We’re offering a chance for you to win a free trip to give to your team, and to have all the details and logistics managed on your behalf. Enter here to WIN!