5 Ideas to Make the Holidays (Really) Happy at Your Nonprofit
‘Tis the season! Somehow, the holiday fundraising season snuck up on us again and Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s are just around the corner.
Ahh, the winter holidays at a nonprofit organization. What with holiday fundraising and events, the flurry of year-end donations and receipting, and closing out the books (for those whose fiscal year matches the calendar year – eek!), it’s often one of the most stressful seasons for a nonprofit’s staff.
To combat December stress, here are 5 ideas to make the holidays truly jolly at your organization this year:
1. Don’t assume everyone celebrates the same holidays
This might seem obvious, but bears repeating: not everyone celebrates Christmas! Make sure any staff celebrations are inclusive so as not to preclude anyone from feeling welcome or wanting to participate. And ask your employees if there are other religious or cultural holidays they want to observe – at this time of year, and throughout the year.
2. Book time for fun
Do you normally organize a co-worker gift exchange? Think about getting more creative and stave off the old standards of gift cards, cutesy stationery, and bottles of wine. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those!) Think about something more personal: Handmade items? Sharing talents like cooking or photography?
3. Ditch the same old party
Do you do the same potluck luncheon every year? Or maybe the same stiff dinner? Switch it up with something different and creative. What about a winter scavenger hunt? An escape room with drinks afterwards? Think out of the box and make your staff celebration a time to really connect and have fun: not just a stale repeat of every other year’s.
4. Shut it down
If you can do it: close for a week, or at least a few days, over the holidays. This can be hard if you’re providing crisis services, and extra-tricky with the year-end rush, but if you can swing it, your employees will love you for it. Many offices close at this time of year, so it’s nice to not feel left out, as well as have the time to unwind.
5. Book time for self-care
If closing your doors isn’t possible, consider how can you support employees’ self-care at this potentially stressful time of year. Think about closing early during the holidays, or offering a bonus long weekend when things settle down in the new year. Or, get creative: set out a coffee and hot chocolate bar with treats every morning you’re open during the holidays, or even bring in an RMT for a half day to do 15-minute massages. Recognizing that staff need some time to slow down will go a long way.