Instead of Throwing an Office Holiday Party, Put Those Funds to Good Use With These Charitable Ideas

coworkers at a holiday office party

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 20, 2024 at 1:39PM UTC

Who’s ready for a change from the traditional office party? If your staff is getting tired of the same thing year after year, consider switching it up this holiday season. Instead of the awkward office festivities, why not do something for good? Here are six ideas that will encourage your employees to help out in the community and have fun at the same time!

1. Volunteer day.

Host a Volunteer Day by partnering with a local nonprofit or charity. (If you have employees working remotely, encourage them to go out in their communities to volunteer during the designated day.) That way, team members can spend time together while doing some good in the world. You could head to a food bank and sort canned goods, pass out packages to the homeless or wrap gifts for kids, to name just a few ideas.

To make the day more festive, encourage your team members to dress up with holiday accessories. Ugly sweaters, anyone?

2. Cook-a-thon.

Turn your office into a meal-prep kitchen. Prepare meals that are easy to assemble, like sandwiches and baggies of veggies, and deliver them to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter together. Put on some festive music to liven things up!

3. Cookie swap.

Who doesn’t love cookie exchanges during the holiday season? This version is doubly sweet. Ask employees to bake at least two batches of their favorite cookies, and do a cookie swap. But set half the cookies aside to donate them to a shelter, soup kitchen or nursing home. Just make sure they accept homemade food before you bring them over.

4. Charitable Secret Santa. 

Does anyone ever get anything they really love for office Secret Santa? Instead of exchanging stuff nobody is really that excited to receive, exchange small donations to team members’ favorite charities or toys they can donate to children in need. That’s something everyone can appreciate.

5. Charity walk.

The tried and true charity walk is always a hit. In the weeks leading up to the company walk, agree on a nonprofit organization or charity that will receive all the funds people raise. (Consider having employees vote on a curated list.) Then, have employees raise money to support them (and the nonprofit, of course!) for the walk. The team that raises the most money gets a shoutout and a small token of appreciation.

If it’s cold on the day of the walk (or even if it’s not) pass out treats like hot chocolate and cookies at the end of the route.

6. Coat drive/mitten tree.

This is something you can hold in addition to any of the other activities on the list. Encourage your team members to bring in old coats and other warm weather gear like hats, scarves and gloves to donate to a charity and help people in need stay warmer during the cold weather. To make things more festive, set up a mitten tree where people can attach mittens, gloves and other accessories — along with notes, if they wish — to “decorate” it. 

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

Would you consider trying one of these charitable ideas instead of hosting a holiday party this year? Share your answer in the comments to start a conversation with other Fairygodboss members!

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