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January 24, 2024

The Generosity Gift

Over the years, I’ve tried to be creative about annual team gifts. Dinners, tech, handmade items, etc. One time, I worked with a fun shoe store to close down the shop so our team could have it all to themselves and choose a pair. Another time during COVID, I invited everyone to visit one of my favorite online stores and gave them just 10 minutes to choose one item to add to the cart (they later referred to that as my “Oprah moment”).

At each turn, the gift was never really lavish. It was the experience of receiving it that made it special. And it was usually something useful.

This year, I wanted to try something different. Instead of giving the team a material object, how could we spark a moment of kindness and care?

Enter "The Generosity Gift." Earlier this month, our team simply received a set amount of money to support someone in their lives. Here’s the note:

“This year, instead of gifts, I’d like to offer each of you a "Generosity Gift." You can use these dollars simply to do something generous for a person in your life — a loved one, close friend, new acquaintance, or even total stranger. You can give them a gift, design an experience, or just pass the money to them. The idea is to support someone else's growth & development during this Leap Year — even if it's just adding a dose of joy in their lives. Each of you will have until March 3 to give it away. And then we'll share stories of what we did on the morning of Monday, March 4th. Stories can be high-level in case people want to be kept anonymous. And of course, feel free to make this challenge your own — there is no wrong way to do this. This will be added to your next payroll, and we'll cover the tax implication."

The response has been sweet. This type of gift feels special, connective, and true to us. And now, there are fun side-conversations happening around the company.

If you’re looking for a way to add a spark to your team, consider forgoing the fancy dinner or the expensive company swag and try the Generosity Gift. Invite your team to support someone else’s growth and development and see what happens — for them, and for others.

Will share what comes of this later March!

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