With the holiday season right around the corner, many of us are thinking of gift ideas for our loved ones. However, with rising costs of living, the war in Ukraine and almost one in four Canadians planning to access essential charitable services over the next six months, many find it challenging to balance holiday gifting and charitable giving during the holiday season.
All this considered, the demand in our communities for the services charities provide continues to rise. Canadians are well aware that the need for charitable giving is increasing throughout the year and want to do what they can to help. So, we’re not surprised to hear that almost half of Canadians prefer charitable gifts over material gifts this year.
In the spirit of the holiday season, we’ve compiled unique ways to infuse charitable giving into your gift-giving for each person on your holiday list.
A gift for your favourite teacher
Teachers, daycare providers, childcare workers, special education and resource teachers play a critical role in our communities and children’s lives. This time of the year often brings us to think about how we can show our appreciation for always having our children’s best interests in mind.
Every year, a new set of students in the classroom means teachers have less space to store physical gifts, leading many to a go-to holiday gift for teachers: Gift cards. They’re quick and easy gifts that give the receiver the flexibility to choose something that piques their interest. Perfect for a teacher gift where you may not know them well enough to give a custom gift but still want to provide a token of your appreciation!
A CanadaHelps charity gift card shows your appreciation and allows the recipient to give back to the communities they live and work in. You can customize your gift card value and design, allowing you to treat multiple teachers while still receiving a charitable tax receipt for the total value of those gifts. A great way to stick to your budget while doing good!
A gift for your favourite remote coworker
The past few years opened up the world to remote work, leading us to develop many close remote work friendships often separated by many time zones or provinces. It’s no surprise that work friends have played a key role in navigating changing work conditions, and naturally, we may want to show our appreciation for them.
In the past, we’ve given holiday gifts to our favourite co-workers in person at the office. In a remote work world, that becomes more challenging with fluctuating shipping costs and an increased emphasis on sustainable gift-giving for remote colleagues.
Instead, why not send them a personalized holiday e-card with a donation made on their behalf?
Not only will you skip shipping costs, but you will also decrease your carbon footprint with this sentimental gift. Both are significant perks if you have a set budget for the office “Secret Santa,” where you’ll want the majority of your gifting budget going towards the gift itself and not added expenses.
Take it a step further and show that you are especially thinking of them by donating to a charity in their local community or if they are particularly enthusiastic about Christmas, a Christmas charity.
A gift for employees
Charitable gifts to employees shows that you care as a company and make it easier for employees to give back during the holiday season.
Gifting employees a charity gift card on top of other holiday perks or matching employee donations to charities of their choice will help bridge the gap between employees’ capacity to donate and the increasing demand for services from charities.
As added inspiration, last year many companies engaged with the #SupportLocal movement for their holiday employee gifting programs. The appetite for supporting local businesses and charities is high, so this year if you are gifting employees charity gift cards, encourage them to use it to donate to local charities for added impact. Find local charities by using the location filter in our charity search.
A gift for your significant other
The holidays are when we show gratitude for our loved ones, and we will always want to give our partner a sentimental gift to show how much we care.
Why not make their holiday gift extra special by donating to a charity or cause with personal significance on their behalf? This sweet and meaningful add-on will fill their hearts.
Charitable gifting for your partner could look like:
- Adding a donation to their favourite charity as part of a digital “care package” sent to their email, among other digital gifts.
- Donating part of your gifting budget to a charity that they may spend a lot of their time volunteering at.
Explore different charity categories to find the perfect charity for your significant other, leave a sweet message to the charity with your donation, and pick an e-card to send your digital gift to your partner.
A gift for your kids
It’s no surprise that today’s youth are vocal advocates for improving our communities through local programming often led by charities. Whether your children are older or younger, encouraging them to take action on causes that are important to them increases the likelihood of them growing up to be charitable and community-minded. The holidays are the perfect time to do this!
A recent study by CanadaHelps found that parents (46%) are much more likely to scale back on holiday spending than those without children. If you have the means, stay within your budget by allocating part of it to donate to charity as a family.
Even better, split a portion of your gifting budget among your children and help them pick a charity, cause or even a tangible charitable gift they’re passionate about to donate that amount to.
Making donating a family affair is a great way to make a difference while opening the conversation with children around philanthropy and how as a family, you can participate in it. A Lilly Family School of Philanthropy report found that talking to children about charity had more impact on children’s giving than solely role modelling. This stayed true regardless of the parent’s income level or the child’s gender, race or age. Talk about a fun and purposeful stocking stuffer!
The holiday season may not mean cozy family gatherings in warm fuzzy socks, by a pile of gifts for everyone. Every contribution, big and small, to charities running programs that many in our own communities will depend on makes a difference. If you can, why not help those in need, help your loved ones and everyone on your holiday list take part in making a difference?
This blog was originally published on November, 28th 2019 and updated on December 2nd 2022.