Sales is an unpredictable profession. But even with all the stress, you and your team still have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
As you move towards the end of the year, giving back to the community can be a great way to remind your team about what you value most. Try one (or more!) of these activities to give back to the community this holiday season.
1) Run a holiday food drive
Food banks always need more food, and the holiday season is a particular time of need. Running your own food drive is a great way for your team to make an impact in a tangible way.
Partner with a local food bank and learn about what they need. In addition to non-perishable foods, many food banks need toiletries and other necessities. Decide on what dates you’ll be running the food drive and make sure your team knows it’s coming. Including information about hunger in your promotional materials can motivate people to donate.
To further inspire donations, set goals for your team. (For example, you may aim to donate 100 cans of food.) Make a thermometer to measure how close you are to your goal. Friendly competition between different teams can be extra-motivating. You might even give the winning team a small reward, like a half-day off work.
2) Collect holiday presents for kids in need
Another way to give back is to run a toy drive. Many homeless shelters, programs for foster children, and food banks collect toys. Select a local organization and partner with them so that your team can bring joy to kids who would not otherwise receive holiday presents in your area.
For the best results, you should run the toy drive for at least one full work week. At the same time, the drive probably shouldn’t last too long because that removes the urgency. Advertise liberally and let everyone know that donations don’t have to be expensive. Stocking stuffers are just as delightful as big-ticket items to a child in need.
3) Run a sales contest where winners can donate to their favorite charity
It’s easy to get distracted as the holidays draw near. A sales contest can be a highly effective way to pump everyone up for closing out the year strong.
To maintain the spirit of Thanksgiving, add a philanthropic twist to the contest. Divide everyone into sales teams and ask each team to select a charity. Instead of competing for individual prizes, the teams will compete on behalf of their charities of choice. To spread out the giving, consider giving prizes to second-place and third-place teams as well. Ultimately, the competition will improve everyone’s sales numbers and help deserving charities carry out their work.
4) Ask employees to vote on a charity to donate to
Many businesses give to charity at the end of the fiscal year, and #GivingTuesday is now a fixture. If your business is planning on making charitable contributions this year, involve your employees in the process!
Give employees the option to nominate their favorite charities. When someone nominates a charity, ask them to explain why they selected it. Many employees may have personal connections to a charity. Then, everyone can vote on which charity to support.
Employees will be excited about the opportunity to support a charity that they selected. You can further encourage them to donate by matching their contributions during a specified donation period.
5) Build a house together
Taking a day away from the office to get your hands dirty helping someone else is a great way to mark Thanksgiving. Habitat for Humanity and other organizations offer opportunities for your team to volunteer together. As you give back to the community, your team can build camaraderie and let off steam during this stressful time of the year.
6) Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
Soup kitchens are another great opportunity for volunteer work. Contact organizations in your community to find out if they need helpers—and they probably do. And since this work puts volunteers in contact with people, your sales team is quite likely to enjoy it.
Volunteering at a soup kitchen can work very well when it’s done in conjunction with a food drive.
7) Give to your customers’ favorite charities
It’s possible to give back to the community and make your customers happy at the same time. When you’re deciding how to allocate donation money, ask your customers about their favorite charities. By taking up some of their suggestions, you will earn their appreciation and strengthen the relationship.
8) Share your sales experience with high school students in your area
Your sales team has valuable expertise to teach others. Arrange to visit a local high school, or a youth group such as the Boys and Girls Club. When your team visits, they can talk to young people about the possibilities of a sales career and teach a few basic sales skills.
Even kids who don’t choose to go into a sales career can benefit from learning the basics of persuasion. This is a great way for your team to give back, cultivate the next generation of sales professionals, and share some of their special expertise.
There’s no reason to spend the last few months of the year holed up in the office staring at annual reports. Help your team to give back this holiday season and have fun while doing it.