Posted on: December 1, 2013
Posted by: Stacey Morton, Marketing Consultant, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
The holidays are a time to not only celebrate with family and friends, but also a time to reach out a helping hand to those less fortunate and to consider our environment. According to Charity Navigator (a nonprofit organization that evaluates charities), those who gave last holiday season plan to give again, with 57% expecting to contribute at the same level. This is great news; however an increase in giving would be even better!
Like a lot of organizations, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts has embraced the spirit of giving during the holidays. With programs such as Friends in Need, the company is able to give back to the communities that support their hotels across Canada. $10 from every room night booked between Dec ember 21 and 27 is donated to a charity selected by the hotel in their community.
Not every company can donate in this way, but with a bit of creative thinking, every organization can find a way to give back. For example the General Manager at the Radisson Hotel Edmonton South raised over $3000 by taking donations to shave off the moustache he had sported since he was a teenager – now that is commitment to giving!
For companies just getting into working with charitable organizations, Charity Navigators has developed the following tips:
- Create a budget. Use the 1% of profits as a starting point and see if you can increase that percentage by augmenting your cash gifts with product donations and by volunteering.
- Research charities before you align your brand with one. Well-intentioned corporate philanthropy will only weaken faith in your firm if you affiliate with a charity caught in highly publicized scandal.
- Look for financially strong charities. Learn about the financial health and accountability and transparency of charities through publicly available tools.
- Investigate the charity’s results. It should be able to tell you about the quality and depth of its results as well as its capacity to continue to get these results, not just the number of activities or people served.
- Be transparent. If you say you will donate a portion of your sales to charity, then include the specifics — how much you will donate and to which charity — prominently on your product’s packaging material and in all your communications about the effort.
- Communicate your charitable efforts. Make sure the public and your employees are aware of all the good that your firm does.
- Use surveys of your employees and your customers to identify their charitable interests and to give them a voice in the decision making. Such constituency voice efforts can increase the morale of employees and the engagement of customers, as well as help you to make the world a better place.
“Going Green” is also a priority for a lot of organizations during the holidays and the trend the past few years of replacing traditional mailed holiday cards with environmentally- friendly electronic cards has become more than a passing fad. Technology has allowed for some extremely engaging holiday card experiences (music and animation for example) that don’t impact our environment. Check out SilverBirch’s holiday card for a great example of “Green Giving”.
And, a truly inspired idea is to combine giving with going green and send out an electronic holiday card with a charitable giving element.
Happy Holidays and remember it is much better to give than to receive: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston Churchill