It’s the time of year when we’re feeling generous.  We’re in the mood to spend money on others, even people we don’t know.

A number of companies encourage their Contributing Team Members (CTM’s) to combine their giving and support needy families or other causes.  This is effective and makes a difference for the supported and the team members.

As we climb out of a difficult economy, some organizations might even have more money to spend on bonuses or holiday celebrations this year.  But, the recent past and the current today, still leave the singed memory of crash and burn.

What if we took those cautious spending habits we developed for our internal teams and continued them this year.  And instead of lavish parties, we celebrate by doing something helpful for others.  But, that helpful is related to our talents.

Serving soup at a mission is great, but it’s a task that many can handle.  What if your team found a way to use their specific talents to help others? Just like volunteering in my boy’s classroom.  Instead of making copies, I taught a lesson or worked with a struggling student.

Here are a couple of ideas (beyond the obvious):

  • Have one of your leaders work with a start-up non-profit on a strategic plan.
  • Ask one of your HR staff to develop a celebration for the volunteers of a successful non-profit.  And then staff their celebration with your team.
  • Encourage someone from your accounting team to provide a basic financial management session for the managers (non accounting) of a struggling non-profit.

The lasting impact of this can be greater than you think.  This may encourage your whole team or specific members of your team to create a relationship that leads to more mentoring, beyond this specific event.

Give more, give often and give your talents!