Festive Philanthropy: Charitable Work Christmas Party Ideas

Chad Davis  |  July 19, 2023

When you do a Google search for “work Christmas party ideas,” you’re certain to find the usual list of activities. The same kind of activities that’ll turn your Christmas party into a dreaded, obligatory social gathering for your team members.

This year, don’t be afraid to get into the Christmas spirit of giving with some charitable activities!

On paper, a charity activity might not sound like the most fun, but it’s all in how you frame it. Tell me what makes a better Christmas story:

An ugly sweater party where (mostly) everyone shows up, has some drinks, and flocks to their usual cliques around a store bought Christmas tree.


Getting the company to work together toward making a difference in the lives of children in need, hungry families, or soldiers without a family back home?

The Christmas season, with its emphasis on generosity, compassion, and goodwill, presents the perfect opportunity to engage in philanthropic endeavors. It’s a time where the act of giving takes center stage, transforming the holiday cheer into a powerful vehicle for change.

Engaging your team in philanthropic activities during your Christmas party is a great opportunity for some far-reaching benefits. It can boost employee morale, foster stronger teams, and contribute to building a positive and ethical company culture.

So, as you prepare for your work Christmas party, consider taking a step beyond the traditional celebrations of santa hats and candy canes. In this blog post, we will explore various charitable activities that you can integrate into your party. Not only will these ideas add a fresh dimension to your celebration, but they will also align your holiday spirit with a greater cause.

Let’s dive into the world of festive philanthropy and discover how you can turn your Christmas party into a beacon of positivity and change, all while boosting your team spirit and bringing joy to those who need it most.

The Importance of Philanthropy During Christmas

“The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life.” 

Henry Ford

It’s a powerful reminder, especially during the holiday season, that our wealth and resources should serve a higher purpose – one that extends beyond the confines of our offices and impacts the broader society.

Ford’s quote underscores the potential power of corporate philanthropy. Businesses, by virtue of their resources and influence, are uniquely positioned to enact positive change.

So instead of using your capital to throw another office work party, consider redirecting it toward charitable activities. This could range from sponsoring a local food drive, volunteering at homeless shelters, or organizing fundraising events for deserving charities. By doing so, companies would not only be celebrating Christmas in its truest spirit, but also utilizing their capital to enhance the quality of life for those less fortunate.

The holiday season should be a time where the focus shifts from making money to making a difference. Incorporating philanthropy into our professional celebrations not only fosters a sense of community within the company but also resonates with the essence of the season: kindness, generosity, and compassion.

Benefits of Incorporating Charitable Activities into Your Work Christmas Party

Incorporating the spirit of philanthropy in your work Christmas party can transform your celebration, adding depth and making it more meaningful. Let’s explore some of the benefits that your team and organization can reap by integrating charitable activities into your festive celebration.

Christmas party games the whole team can get excited about

First and foremost, charitable team building games add a new layer of depth to your Christmas party. Traditional parties, with their focus on food, fun, and festivities, certainly have their charm. Still, the inclusion of a charitable component introduces an element of social responsibility, making the celebration more meaningful. It’s not just about having a good time—it’s about making a positive impact and celebrating the true essence of Christmas—giving and caring.

But don’t think all that social responsibility doesn’t mean you can’t partake in fun activities. It might not be Christmas carols and gift cards, but you’ll be surprised to see just how much fun a the entire team can have when it comes to working toward a great cause. Our team building experts have run thousands of charity games, so we know from experience that teams get competitive and have a blast.

Give employees an opportunity to work together toward a shared goal

One of the most significant benefits of this approach is the potential for team bonding. When employees engage together in philanthropic activities, they’re not just working side-by-side—they’re working towards a shared goal, a cause that extends beyond their usual work tasks. This can foster a sense of camaraderie, as employees get to know each other on a more personal level, and strengthen the bonds between them. It’s team-building with a heart, promoting unity while making a positive impact via holiday celebrations.

Show the world that you care

Incorporating charity into your work Christmas party can also substantially improve your company’s image. Clients, customers, and even potential hires often look favorably on companies that value social responsibility and take active steps to give back to the community. An ethical company image isn’t just good for the bottom line—it’s good for the world.

Your employees will feel satisfied and feel empowered even beyond their role at the company

Finally, charitable activities can significantly boost employee satisfaction. Employees feel more engaged and motivated when they know they’re part of an organization that cares—not just about profits, but about people and the community. By giving your employees the chance to contribute to a cause they care about, you’re showing them that their hard work extends beyond their desks—it has the power to make a real difference.

4 Tips for Successfully Incorporating Philanthropy into Your Christmas Party

Just as assembling and decorating gingerbread houses is a beloved holiday tradition, so too is planning your annual work Christmas party.

The bare gingerbread structure represents the essential elements of your party – the venue, the date, the guests. The sweets, icing, and festive embellishments are the exciting activities and entertainment that make your party enjoyable and memorable.

But imagine adding another layer to your gingerbread house decoration – a deeper, meaningful layer. Just as a sprinkle of powdered sugar is the perfect way to transform your gingerbread house into a magical winter scene, incorporating philanthropy into your Christmas party can add an extra dimension of depth, transforming your gathering from a fun event into a profound celebration of the season’s true spirit. Let’s delve into some tips on how to ‘sprinkle that sugar’ and seamlessly blend philanthropy into your festive event (and you won’t even need a gingerbread house kit).

1. Choose a cause that aligns with your company values

The first step in planning a philanthropic activity is to choose a cause. It’s important to select one that aligns with your company’s values and mission. This will make the endeavor more meaningful and resonate more deeply with your employees. For example, if your company is involved in environmental sustainability, consider a charity that works towards conserving nature or reducing pollution.

2. Involve employees in the decision-making process

To ensure participation and genuine engagement, involve your employees in the decision-making process. This could mean polling them on which charity to support or brainstorming together on which activities to organize. When employees feel like they have a say in the matter, they’re more likely to be enthusiastic participants.

3. Promote the event well

Good promotion is key to ensuring participation. Use company newsletters, emails, or social media to create a buzz about the event. Highlight the cause you’re supporting, the activities planned, and what the expected outcomes are. The more your employees understand the importance of the event, the more likely they are to participate with all of their festive spirit.

4. Celebrate the achievements

After the event, don’t forget to celebrate what you’ve achieved together. Whether it’s the amount of money raised, the number of hours volunteered, or the number of toys collected for a toy drive, share these achievements with your team. It’s a great way to end the event on a high note, making your employees feel good about what they’ve accomplished.

8 Charities That Could Use Donations During the Holidays

Not sure which charities could use your donation during the holiday season?

As stated above, make sure to consider your company’s values and the causes that resonate most with your team. If that doesn’t help narrow things down, however, then consider one of these:

1. Toys for Tots

Run by the U.S. Marine Corps, this charity collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes them to less fortunate children during the holiday season.

2. Salvation Army

Known for their red kettle bell ringers outside stores during the holidays, the Salvation Army provides a variety of services, including food distribution, disaster relief, and housing assistance.

3. Feeding America:

This organization operates food banks across the U.S. and could use donations to help provide holiday meals to families in need.


UNICEF provides emergency food and healthcare to children around the world. Donations can help support these efforts.

5. Doctors Without Borders

This organization provides medical care to people in crisis situations worldwide. A donation can help fund medical supplies and personnel.

6. Wounded Warrior Project

The Wounded Warrior Project provides support and resources to veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound while serving in the military on or after September 11, 2001. Donations can help provide programs and services to wounded warriors and their families.

7. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

If your company is passionate about environmental conservation, the WWF is a great option. They work to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.

8. Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity builds and improves homes for families in need. Donations can help provide the necessary supplies and resources.

7 Charitable Activities Ideas for Your Work Christmas Party

Having established the significant benefits of incorporating charitable activities into your work Christmas party, and now that you have some ideas of which charities to get involved with, it’s time to explore some potential ideas. The goal here is not merely to offer a list of suggestions but to inspire you to rethink how you can celebrate the festive season with your whole office in a way that aligns with the spirit of giving.

1. Organize a Toy Drive

This is a simple yet highly impactful activity. Encourage employees to bring new, unwrapped toys to the holiday gathering. These toys can then be donated to local charities that distribute them to children who might not otherwise receive gifts. This is not only an easy way to give back but also a powerful reminder of the joy of giving.

How to organize: Choose a local charity, inform your team about the type of toys needed, and set up a collection point at your party venue.

Potential benefits: Boosts team morale, fosters a sense of community, and provides tangible aid to local charities.

2. Build Bicycles for Charity

Get a bunch of bicycles and build them for local children. What little boy or girl wouldn’t want a brand new bike as a Christmas present?

How to organize: Buy a bunch of bicycles and have your team build them together. To turn it into a truly magical experience, consider partnering with our Build-A-Bike® experts to run the event for you, especially if your event will have over 100 participants.

Potential benefits: Encourages team building, improves communication, makes a direct positive impact on the community.

3. Volunteer at a Local Shelter

This activity might not be suitable for the party itself but can be done as part of the run-up to the event. Spending a day volunteering at a local homeless or animal shelter can be a deeply rewarding experience.

How to organize: Coordinate with a local shelter and schedule a day for your team to volunteer.

Potential benefits: Promotes team bonding, enhances the company’s image, and makes a direct positive impact on the community.

4. Stuff Teddy Bears for Children in Need of Emotional Support

Did you know that when a child is undergoing a crisis, such as in the middle of an emergency situation, a stuffed animal can help them calm down? First responders like having stuffed animals on hand to give to children when they or their family members are experiencing an emergency. Those stuffed animals can come from people who donate them!

How to organize: Buy “create your own stuffed animal” kits, find a suitable donor, and start stuffing! This is also an event, Rescue Bear®, that our team excels at organizing. We can help organize this game for small and massive groups of teams alike.

Potential benefits: Encourages team building, improves communication, and helps children in need.

5. Charity Run or Walk

Arrange a charity run or walk as part of your Christmas celebration. This can be done on a different day if weather permits or as a virtual event.

How to organize: Choose a charity to support, set up a donation page, and arrange the run or walk. It can be as formal or informal as you like.

Potential benefits: Encourages team building, promotes physical health, and raises funds for a worthy cause.

6. Custom Obstacle Course

Perhaps you’ve heard of team building games that incorporate the use of a blindfold. You blindfold a member on your team, and the other team mates have to help them complete a task. Or in this case, navigate through an obstacle course and collect items.

The charitable twist, however, is that the items they collect can be ones that will be donated to charity. In this kind of game, the charity can be just about anything you want.

How to organize: Organize your company into small teams and create an obstacle course of various objects on the floor. Place the charity items in challenging locations. Distribute the blind folds and let the teams coach the blindfolded player. If you need help figuring out the logistics, speak with one of our custom obstacle course experts.

Potential benefits: Freedom to choose a charity best aligned with company’s values, communication skills will be tested, teams can have fun being competitive


7. Custom Mini-Golf Course Made of Non-Perishable Foods

Here’s one you likely haven’t heard of: using non-perishable food to create a DIY mini-golf course. This is another event that we created and can help you organize, and not to toot our own horn, but it is fun. This is a game that lets highly competitive teams let loose. And, of course, the opportunity for charity is big. We’re talking “big” as in several hundred pounds of food (and that only scales up depending on the size of your group).

How to organize: Boxed and packaged foods and some mini-golf props is all you really need here. We’ve nailed the formula though, so get in touch with us if you want to see it go off without a hitch.

Potential benefits: Potential for a massive donation, highly competitive event that your team will have a blast doing, teamwork is a must when having teams construct their courses

Tidings of Comfort and Joy: Wrapping Up Your Philanthropic Festive Celebration

As we draw the curtains on our discussion about charitable work Christmas parties, it’s essential to reflect on what we’ve uncovered. We’ve seen the importance of philanthropy during the Christmas season, a time symbolized by the spirit of giving and generosity. We’ve recognized that incorporating charitable activities into our work celebrations not only aligns with this spirit but can also bring numerous benefits.

From fostering stronger team bonds to enhancing the company image and boosting employee satisfaction, the advantages of a philanthropic Christmas party are compelling. We’ve explored various charitable activities, from organizing a toy drive to volunteering at local shelters and even setting up charity runs or walks. Each activity is an opportunity to add depth to our festivities, making them more meaningful and impactful.

Incorporating these activities into our celebrations, however, isn’t an automatic process. We’ve shared tips to ensure that your philanthropic endeavors are successful, from choosing a cause that resonates with your company values to involving employees in the decision-making process and promoting the event effectively.

We’ve also provided a list of charities that could greatly benefit from donations during the holiday season. These are but a few examples, and there are countless other organizations that do wonderful work and could use support.

Remember, the aim of a festive, philanthropic work Christmas party is not just to celebrate the holiday season, but also to spread joy and kindness where it’s needed most. By incorporating charitable activities into your Christmas party, you’re not just hosting a celebration—you’re making a real difference. As you plan your party, keep the spirit of festive philanthropy in mind. After all, the true spirit of Christmas lies not in the receiving, but in the giving.

Chad Davis
author Chad Davis
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Chad Davis is an Author for The Leaders Institute ® in Dallas, TX. He specializes in writing and internet marketing. Chad started his career in retail management. However, his leadership skills and attention to detail allowed him to move into quality control for a couple of big healthcare companies. After excelling in each of these careers, he decided to go back to the career that he really loves — writing.
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