Holiday Giving Guide

I continue to be inspired by people’s generosity around the holidays. Here are some individual and workplace ideas to increase the impact of your philanthropic and volunteer efforts during this season of giving.


Giving Tuesday

  • Today, November 27, is #GivingTuesday. The campaign’s mission is to create a national day of giving to encourage charitable activities that support nonprofit organizations.
  • Isn’t it time to create a new family holiday tradition? Why not suggest that instead of buying another ugly Christmas sweater, family members donate to a favorite charity?


Give Blood

  • The national blood supply declines around the holidays. Help keep it stabilized.
  • Make a blood donation appointment with the American Red Cross at a location near you.


Food/Toy/Coat Drives

  • For food drives, coordinate with your local food bank. You can search by zip code through Feeding America.
  • For toy drives, search by state and county to find local opportunities with Toys For Tots.
  • For coat drives, follow the drive organizer steps with One Warm Coat.
  • A great combination of a drive and a volunteer activity is Project Night Night. Individuals can purchase a new blanket, toy, and book and put them into a comfort tote for a homeless child.


Gifts that Give Back

  • Do good and check items off your holiday gift list! Shop your favorite online retailers though KarmaWell and they will donate a percentage of everything you buy to the causes you care about. A triple win!!!
  • As mentioned in a previous blog post, you can use to shop for gifts from certified B Corporations.
  • Charity gift cards are a great idea for workplace recognition or gift exchanges. They’re also good for the person on your gift list who already has everything. I like JustGive for donations to U.S. charities and GlobalGiving for those who might like to support projects abroad.


Matching Gifts/Money For Time

  • If your employer has a matching gift and/or volunteer grant program, take advantage of it! Programs vary by company, so check your company’s intranet or contact your company’s programs administrator for information on programs and policies.
  • If you’re not sure who administers your company’s program, or if your company even has a program, Double the Donation can point you in the right direction with its searchable database of corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs and contact info.


Donating Vacation Time

  • Does your employer have a “use it or lose it” paid time off policy? If you have more vacation days than you can possibly use before they expire, this recent WSJ article details how employees can donate extra vacation time to help disaster relief efforts.
  • If your HR administrator needs guidance on how to get a program like this up and running, have him/her check out this Employer’s Guide to Employee Leave-Sharing Programs.



  • Volunteer Match is a great resource to find volunteer opportunities in your community.
  • For Superstorm Sandy volunteer activities, check out Points of Light.
  • Keep in mind that plans for holiday volunteer activities are typically finalized a month or more before the event. It may be too late for this year and your time might benefit the nonprofit more during a slower time.


These are just a few suggestions. Please share other ideas you have in the comments of this post for others to see.


Happy Holidays (and happy giving)!