Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Holiday Party or a Charitable Donation?

When the economy started going sour, the corporate magnates at American Amalgamated Corrugated Conglomerates of America thought it would be more appropriate to donate money to a charitable organization than throw a big holiday party for everyone. I thought that was a wonderful idea. And several years later, we are still doing that.

Last week I got to thinking, however. There are definitely people out there that are out of work and need help. There are families that will not have a Christmas or a Hanukkah this year and it would be wonderful to continue to support them. But what would happen if all of these companies that used to throw parties and now donate money would spend this money instead by having a a big holiday party? Is it more beneficial to society and our local economy to spend money at local small and mid-sized businesses that hire people and provide goods and services or give money to organizations that provide charity?

I'm torn with this. Spending money creates jobs. Spending creates tax revenue. Donations do not. Spending begets more spending. Companies have to spend money to provide the goods and services that they provide. Donations do not beget donations, at least not that I can perceive.

Lost in all of this is the absence of building corporate morale and being with your coworkers and friends for an event outside of the normal business processes. We're not improving corporate relations and positive work environments by receiving a sterile email that some money was donated to a organization that you may have heard of.

How about a hybrid? Let's invite some families in need to a catered holiday party and have a great meal with them while enjoying the company of our coworkers? Let's rally together for a return of the corporate holiday party!

What do you think about donations versus spending money?

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