'Tis the Season

With the holiday season and end of 2016 fast approaching, companies and their employees often look to help others in need. Traditionally, these end-of-year campaigns range from organizing local canned food and toy drives, to promoting national programs like #GivingTuesday or raising awareness for international programs like International Human Rights Day. However you choose to close out 2016, consider how you can effectively maximize business and social value by enhancing the effectiveness of your holiday corporate philanthropy. One approach is to determine your organization’s unique capabilities, identify causes that resonate strongly with your employees, and then select opportunities that intersect between your corporate resources and employee interests. 
Additionally, think about these critical success factors:
Your bandwidth—do you have the resources to manage these opportunities effectively? 
Have you vetted the organizations, causes or programs? 
What is the optimal timing? 
Do you have processes in place to track your donations and volunteerism? 
How will you measure impact? 
What is your communications plan (pre and post)? 
How will you celebrate, thank and recognize your volunteers?
To help get you started, here is a list of ‘anchor’ dates with volunteering ideas to link to your holiday philanthropy while helping end 2016 with goodness. 
Veterans Day (U.S. only) – November 11
World Kindness Day – November 13
World Toilet Day – November 19
Thanksgiving (U.S. only) – November 24
Small Business Saturday (U.S. only) – November 26
Giving Tuesday – November 29
World AIDS Day – December 1

The holiday season also means holiday cards, gifts and client thank you’s. Rather than sending a box of chocolates or a logoed tchotchke, why not align your brand to gifts that support philanthropy and social good? You can donate in the name of a client, colleague or loved one at one of these 20 nonprofits or if you prefer to give a tangible gift while supporting a cause, consider shopping at one of these 30 online stores benefitting some terrific nonprofits.
Wishing you the very best gifts of the season—peace, joy, hope and good cheer. 
For help designing your employee volunteering and giving campaigns, please contact Silicon Valley Community Foundation at donate@siliconvalleycf.org