How Companies Can Give Back Remotely During the Holidays

By Ericka DeBruce | VP, Colleague Experience and Corporate Citizenship | Sedgwick – Colleague Resources

The holidays typically kick off a season of giving, one where companies highlight different causes and charitable foundations to extend their resources. What was once considered a season of countless events and galas has now been quieter, with reverberations of COVID-19 and the impact it’s had. The irony is that while our season of giving has drastically changed this year, there is nothing needed more during these times.

Companies have been using this challenging year as an opportunity to focus inward and think through the values and behaviors necessary in the New Year. Along with that, many have had more time to think through their social impact or corporate responsibility programs on how to lead these efforts authentically and consistently. Giving has changed too, as many companies are getting more involved in lending a hand to help others impacted by COVID-19.

When companies think about giving back, it’s important to keep these core principles in mind, to ensure that you’re staying true to your company values and providing the support that others are needing in this time:

Align with Causes that Resonate with Your Company

It’s essential to be mindful of the causes your company supports during a typical year, but even more so during a remote one. Not only is visibility high because of increased screen time, but companies should be careful with how they’re messaging this year because of the increased sensitivities surrounding the pandemic. People will be able to identify if a cause doesn’t match your brand and if it seems like you’re pandering to something that’s trendy or topical. 

Pick a cause that’s true to your company’s mission and values and identify a clear message of how you’re giving back. Keeping it simple and authentic will go a long way.

Keep up Company Morale

This holiday season has been different and stressful for many employees and working from home has caused increased burnout and fatigue. The act of giving back as a team is a great way to bond as a team and can be even more meaningful if the cause you’re giving to is important to your team.

Take the time to understand the causes that are personal to your team, as it’s a great way to make your campaign resonate even more.

Don’t Take on Too Much Too Soon

It’s easy to get carried away with taking on too much by the end of the year – especially if plans were upended or events were cancelled. As such, it’s important to use your resources effectively and plan accordingly – especially if you’re thinking about a long-term giving strategy. Some of the most successful campaigns have started small and grew over time. Recognizing both company and employee capacity and being cognizant of burnout will also ensure that you’re taking a steady pace with your holiday giving plans, and ultimately, make you successful in the years following.

During these challenging times, companies need to pause and think through methodically how to support fundraising and the overall notion of giving back in one of the toughest years in recent time. While we look ahead to 2021, many of our communities will still be affected by the lasting impact of COVID-19.

Companies should think ahead on how best to give back beyond this season, as many communities will be left with fewer resources and less support – planning into the next year and beyond will be critical to their survival. Nonprofits and foundations are counting on the investment, but also the support, which is a reminder to all about how remote giving campaigns will set our communities up for success in the years to come.

Erika DeBruce

Ericka DeBruce is the VP Engagement, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility at Sedgwick, a leading global provider of technology-enabled risk, benefits, and integrated business solutions that works with major companies across the U.S., including 76 of the Fortune 100.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.