A guest post from Candace Berman Sheitelman
Every once in a while a trend emerges that you hope takes a permanent hold in our culture, rather than being a passing fad you wish would just go away (like skinny jeans). These are the trends that are actually beyond fashionable in a manner that transcends time and place.
This season, aside from digital readers and pocket video cameras being the hippest holiday gift items, there is another trend that I hope sticks around into next year and beyond. We’re seeing it little by little with forward-thinking companies who really “get” what having a good year - especially this year - truly means. Instead of (and sometimes in addition to) dropping big bucks on gourmet treats and luxe parties, companies are making donations to worthy causes in honor of their clients and employees.
One South Florida law firm and a Schwartz Media Strategies client, Kluger Kaplan, makes it a point to show appreciation to its employees at holiday time -- and this year, in addition to other fun activities, it is raffling off the ability to choose where the firm’s charitable donation will go. Coral Gables real estate firm (another Schwartz client), Continental Real Estate Companies (CREC), is hosting a toy drive and celebration benefitting the Family Resource Center of South Florida. CREC employees bring in toys for the Center’s foster children and join them to celebrate the holidays with food, presents, and even a visit from Santa Claus. Threadcount, a purveyor of fine linens in Miami, was moved by a grass-roots effort called Team Up for Toys, benefitting the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Memorial, and donated $1,000 to help achieve the goal of collecting 1,000 toys for the hospital’s patients.
And that’s just the beginning. Look around your community. Look around the Web. You’re sure to find other stellar corporate giving initiatives that inspire you, like www.lecwishes.com. This is a trend we could all stand a little more of. Kind of like black in our wardrobes. It’s simple, it looks good, feels good, and it’s effective on so many levels. Nothing builds brand (and employee morale) like being a responsible, aware corporate citizen that puts its money where its mouth is.
So, be a trendsetter... giving back really is the new black. Don’t you think?