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Five Ways Your Business Can Make A Difference This Holiday Season

Support the less fortunate – and boost staff morale – with these festive fundraising and volunteering initiatives.

By Shell on Nov. 17, 2021

Giving back is a win-win situation: it not only strengthens your local community, it also benefits your business by bringing your staff closer together.

And it needn’t be complex or costly. In fact, the most effective initiatives are often the most straightforward.

A great way to maximise employee participation is to let them choose the charitable activity. Here are five possibilities for them, and you, to consider.

1. Join a fun run or host a sports match.

Community running events have become so popular in Australia that there are now several websites, including Running Calendar and Run Calendar, to help you choose between the hundreds of options. The fundraising element is simple: simply register your business on the event’s website to receive a unique URL where donors can make credit-card contributions in your name. Alternatively, why not organise a charitable game of soccer or cricket with another local business? You can collect donations before and afterwards and fire up a sausage sizzle on the sidelines. Or make it a ticketed event using a platform such as mycause or GoFundMe.

2. Volunteer as a group.

Volunteering doesn’t involve raising money or pre-planning, making it ideal if your staff work long hours or spend a lot of time on the road. All you need to do is set a date and make sure your employees don’t have conflicting obligations. At this time of year, there are plenty of appealing outdoor options: you could partner with Clean Up Australia to make sure your local beach or park is pristine; get involved in conservation activities with Landcare; or staff an RSPCA animal shelter for a day. For more ideas, check out the Volunteering Australia and Centre for Volunteering websites.

3. Take part in a seasonal food or clothing drive.

At a time of year when most of us eat well, give gifts and celebrate, it can be particularly rewarding to help others do the same. Foodbank Australia and the Salvation Army both have long-established Christmas Food Drives that operate nationally, with a variety of options for dropping off donated goods. Or you can organise a drive yourself for a charity such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which provides how-to information on its website.

4. Set up a workplace giving program.

If your team works remotely or is spread across multiple locations, coming together for a fundraising or volunteering initiative might not be realistic. One simple and effective alternative is to set up a workplace giving program that allows staff to make charitable contributions out of their salaries during the festive season or throughout the year. Setting up such a program is quick and easy: there’s more information on the ATO website. And because it’s anonymous, each employee can decide how much to contribute without fear of being judged. At the conclusion of the program, simply share news of the total amount raised.

5. Host a fundraising dinner or concert.

A charitable dinner or show requires more forward planning than other forms of giving, but it is also an opportunity for your team to work together and bond. You can simplify the process and reduce costs by partnering with an established local venue, such as a restaurant or theatre, instead of hiring an empty hall. Or you can approach a charitable organisation, such as a drop-in centre or aged-care facility, and offer to host the event on their premises to benefit the people they take care of. Use mycause or GoFundMe for ticketing so you’re not worrying about cash on the night, and invite friends, family and regular customers to help fill the room.


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