the gift of givingGratitude for the work

Considering the year we’ve all had, we’re thanking our lucky stars to not only be surviving but thriving, with exciting things coming in 2021. It’s all made possible by the clients who’ve worked with us on projects and an ongoing basis through this year. So as a thank you, we’ve sent a little something to our ongoing clients. For many companies, this could be a box of chocolates, wine or biscuits, but we’re aware that:

  • Many people are still working remotely, so we don’t want to be sending post to an unattended address
  • Even if they got a parcel, anything that requires sharing wouldn’t be sensible this year!
  • The delivery network is already under a lot of pressure

So we decided to divert this money to charity vouchers instead. These are easily sent in Christmas cards and a have a few other benefits too:

  • Giving to others, particularly charitable organisations, makes us feel better than either spending money on ourselves or receiving a gift. The book Happy Money makes this point brilliantly. I’d recommend reading it in full, but you can also read a summary or watch one of the writers, Michael Norton in his TEDx talk at Harvard Business School. In short, we feel better and so do our clients, when they get to choose which charity gets the donation, particularly if it’s one close to their heart.
  • Once we factor in shipping, packaging etc, you really can’t get much, in comparison to the difference that the same amount of money can make to someone else. Overall we spent £400 on charity vouchers which feels great, but £400 on chocolates, biscuits and wine, wouldn’t feel so good.
  • While a study by the Charities Aid Foundation this year found that the overall proportion of people who donated money to charity has remained broadly in line with previous years, there was a significant decline in donations raised via fundraising events, such as the running events and coffee mornings which lost out on up to £174 million during the first half of the year. In short, charities could do with the support. (ref
  • We’ve all suffered one way or another this year, but those who depend on charitable relief are so much worse off. There is always someone worse off than you, so while we can and should process any loss we’re feeling, giving to others can be a counterintuitive way to help feel more grateful for what we do have.

Secret Santa

This is the second year that we’re not doing Secret Santa and are donating the money to a charity instead. Usually, Secret Santa is capped at £10 and honestly, it’s hard to get anything of value; it’s all just ‘landfill fodder’, and we didn’t feel great about contributing to that. This year we joined the goal set by a local businessman to buy 5 beds for the vulnerable and poor this Christmas through Charity Link. He called on the local business community and the donations he received have paid for 44 beds in total!

Amazon Smile

We’re trying to support local independents wherever possible, but many of us are forced to use Amazon this year, particularly for Christmas shopping. So if you’re going to use Amazon, you may as well use Amazon Smile, which means a proportion of your order gets donated to a charity of choice. Just select your preferred charity and make sure you visit each time you use Amazon in the future. United Kingdom charities have received £5,721,914.99 as of November 2020, so every little certainly adds up.

Giving to feel good

Thankfully, at a time when many people are feeling financial pressure, giving doesn’t always have to involve spending money. Whether it’s donating outgrown toys and clothes to charity, shopping for an elderly neighbour or undertaking pro bono work, many people have found ways to make a difference during a difficult year. What have you been doing and do you have any plans to make a difference in 2021? Let us know at We’d love to hear all about it!

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