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The holiday season is all about giving, and just because a business is for-profit doesn’t mean it can’t participate in doing a little good for its community. Whether their focus is on local communities or a larger cause, businesses big and small can do their part to show their customers (and their employees) that they care.
As business leaders in the culture space, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council understand how important it is for businesses to come together with their communities, especially during such a charitable time. Below, they recommend 10 ways other culture businesses can give back this holiday season and bring a little cheer to others.
Organize Team-Based Initiatives
Organize team-based initiatives where all employees are encouraged to volunteer together. Volunteer activities can include helping out at a local soup kitchen or planning a fundraising event for a charitable cause. It’s important for businesses to give back to the local community because, oftentimes, it’s the community that makes the business what it is. – Irma Miriam Penunuri, Burgerrock Media
Offer Your Services Pro Bono
In lieu of a one-time charitable donation, consider offering your professional services on a pro bono basis to a community organization or cause that aligns with your company values. It’s a great way to strengthen ties within your community even if your budget is tight, and the real gift is seeing the impact of your contributions firsthand. – Lisa Weser, Trailblaze
Turn Giving into Friendly Competition
In the motion picture industry, many film and tv productions donate food from catering and craft service daily. Large productions can donate hundreds of meals to the local community. A little friendly competition goes a long way. We’ve found that organizing a food drive and competing among departments on a film/tv production or even between other productions is motivating and helpful. – Zena Harris, Green Spark Group
Support Local Restaurants
We do company lunches. During Covid, this shifted into company-wide work-from-home lunches wherein employees supported a restaurant within walking distance, and later joined a Google Meet to eat virtually. The support of the community here is twofold: supporting local restaurants and spending time with your colleagues. We will continue this community support as some people now permanently work from home. – Adam Rumanek, Aux Mode Inc.
Build a Strong CSR Strategy
Building a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy is key in today’s economy. Consumers are more alert than ever about organizations’ carbon footprints and their willingness to be socially responsible. It’s not always about writing the largest donation check, but about building long-term sustainable solutions to give back to the local communities organizations operate within. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB
Move the Holiday Focus Away From ‘Buying’
One way companies can give back to their communities this holiday season is by making the holidays more about giving than selling or sales. Instead of focusing all the attention on holiday sales or getting people to buy frivolously, why not focus on giving back to your local community members who need it most, such as kids, vets, people experiencing homelessness or even pets? You could even do “incentive-based giving.” – Chris Martin, Hempful Farms
Align Your Giving With Your Company’s Purpose
Cannabis is all about community and supporting one another. Focusing on just one or two things and doing it consistently is key for empowering community and culture authentically. Having a reason to exist goes hand in hand with doing business in cannabis, whether that’s helping to fund the arts, feeding neighbors, helping to house animals — whatever truly means something to your purpose. – Courtney Wu, AMNESIA Media
Donate Your Time
While contributing monetarily is always an option, if an organization can physically assist as a team, that is beneficial for the community, the cause and the business donating its time. Working together to help others is a beautiful thing. Doing good together creates everlasting memories and strong relationships. In fact, it should be a regular business practice and not just a holiday thing. – Jessica Passman, Hunter + Esquire
Organize a Drive
It’s extremely important to become a pillar in your community within any space, let alone just culture. One of the ways that we have done this throughout the years is by hosting not only a coat drive, but also a toy drive for the kids as well. This gives us brand visibility, and actually helping the community is a great feeling in and of itself. – Logan Forbes, Untitledexport MGMT
Make a Plan to Give Back 365 Days a Year
Giving during the holidays is great, and there is no shortage of deserving organizations doing amazing work. However, companies should make giving and community engagement a part of their agenda every day, not just during the holidays. Develop a relationship with a local organization with a mission aligned to what your company does. Support them 365 days a year. – Amanda Reiman, Personal Plants