The workplace is a completely different environment than it was before the pandemic. More of us work remotely or in a hybrid capacity. We're thinking more about how our collective and individual actions impact others. And we've had time to reevaluate the role work plays in our lives. Increasingly, we want to spend our time and efforts in organizations that reflect our values and make us feel positive about the contributions we're making. While we've always looked for purpose and meaning in our work, it's more important that employers value us as people and shift their organizational mindset from "doing less harm" to "doing more good."
Corporate gifting is one strategy that can demonstrate an organization's values. By choosing corporate gifts that give back to underserved communities or help clean up the environment, recipients feel appreciated not only because of the gift itself but because of the impact that the gift created. For example, what if every gift a company purchased kept a child in school because her mother was able to provide her with the mandatory uniform? What if that gift provided the tools for a former gang member to establish a new life? What if that gift created a permanent job for someone who was formerly incarcerated?
Why are corporate gifts important?
Gift-giving is a deeply rooted tradition in human interactions. In workplaces, gifts can be a meaningful way to reinforce connections, increase pride in an organization, and show appreciation. As the pandemic limited in-person interactions, businesses sought new ways to stay engaged with their employees and clients. Digital conferences and remote events created new avenues to forge relationships. Now, with workers returning to the office and in-person events back on the calendar, even more opportunities for gift-giving exist.
A May 2021 survey showed that strengthening relationships and making the recipient feel valued are the main benefits of giving corporate gifts. Other advantages include improved customer loyalty, increased employee productivity and retention, and better brand awareness.
How can corporate gifts demonstrate an organization's values?
Whether a corporate gift or a personal one, choosing a gift requires thoughtfulness. You think about what the recipient would like, what they would find meaningful. By selecting a corporate gift that gives back in some way, an organization shows that it supports the same communities that its employees would support as individuals. It says, "We see you, we understand you, and we value you."
Below are a few examples of corporate gifts that give back.
Corporate gifts that give back to the environment
Peace by Piece International partners with Jaggery, a women-led social enterprise based in Gurgaon, India that converts industrial waste material into a range of professional bags and multipurpose accessories. Founded on the principles of sustainability, fair trade, and global citizenry, the organization aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. By transforming discarded seat belts, old car seat buckles, punctured bouncy castles, decommissioned defense-grade canvas, army tents, and parachutes into beautiful corporate gifts, Jaggery keeps industrial waste out of landfills.
Corporate gifts that give back to women
Since 1993, Women for Women International (WfWI) has helped more than 478,000 marginalized women in countries affected by war and conflict. This organization serves women by offering support, tools, and access to skills to move from crisis and poverty to stability and economic self-sufficiency.
The Share Cookbook is a collection of over 150 delicious recipes from change-makers and chefs all over the world, with a foreword written by Meryl Streep. It's as much a cookbook as a coffee table book with gorgeous photography and stories about women survivors of war who have experienced WfWI's one-year life-changing program.
Our partner Sitti Soap changes the lives of women in the Jerash Refugee Camp in Jordan by training and employing them to handmake products. Sitti means "my grandma" in Arabic, which is the tradition and inspiration behind making soaps with olives locally sourced from groves in the Jordan Valley. Each product is 100% vegan, ethically purchased, biodegradable, and dye- and alcohol-free.
Corporate gifts that give back to the formerly incarcerated
Peace by Piece partner BeeLove provides opportunities for people returning home from prison to establish a positive work history, learn productive work habits, and reintegrate into society. Every purchase reduces recidivism by providing the support, confidence, and skills needed to reenter the workforce.
How to give meaningful corporate gifts
By choosing gifts that are not only beautifully crafted but tell a values-driven story, corporations can create a tangible demonstration of what matters to them. Each of the gift ideas featured here is a memorable statement that will make an impression on recipients because of the care and thoughtfulness that went into selecting and creating it.