‘Tis the season of giving and I love the trend toward giving gifts such as charitable donations rather than just “stuff”.
It seems to be a particularly popular idea with workplaces swapping Kris Kringle (Secret Santa) for charitable donations.
A few years ago the financial planning office where I worked chose to make up hampers of essentials to support families who may otherwise go without at Christmas.
I found it much more pleasurable and meaningful than in previous years when we’d donated money.
It was so enjoyable that my daughter was excited to join me in shopping for the hampers and we decided to double our donation. Sharing the experience with her made it extra heartwarming for me.
Recent research from happiness researcher Elizabeth Dunn and her colleagues explains that I was not alone in noticing I felt happier donating something more personal.
If you’re trying to select a cause to support then choosing a cause where you can connect with the impact you are making may turn the workplace contribution from grudge or obligation to joy.
Whilst that may seem selfish, making giving more enjoyable may lead to larger donations, as it did for us.
(For help convincing your colleagues on what to choose, send them this article.)