If you’re wondering what to get your employees for the holidays, put down the Tim Horton’s gift card and back away. Sure, coffee is a fairly safe bet (though most of us would honestly prefer wine), but a majority of Canadian employees would actually prefer their employer make a charitable donation in their name than give them a traditional gift.

This is a key finding from a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the World Vision Gift Catalogue.

Fifty-four per cent of Canadian employees “agree” (15% strongly/39% somewhat) that they would prefer receiving a charitable gift from their employer to a tangible one. Forty-six per cent say they “disagree” (15% strongly/31% somewhat) that they’d rather receive a charitable gift.

Fifty-nine percent also “agree” (14% strongly/45% somewhat) that they would prefer companies with which they have dealings give a charitable gift in their name rather than a tangible gift.

Meanwhile, two out of three Canadians (63%) “agree” (18% strongly/45% somewhat) that they would prefer to receive a “meaningful gift that would help someone else, rather than another traditional gift like clothes or electronics,” while 37% “disagrees” (8% strongly/29% somewhat).

Here are some other things Canadian said make a gift “meaningful.”

If it is sentimental – 36%
If it is handmade by you – 20%
If it is handmade but not necessarily by you – 15%
If it is fair trade and/or environmentally friendly – 10%
Something else – 5%

Handmade is one idea, though it’s hard to imagine many bosses knitting their employees scarves and making their own jams and pickles. Still, a majority of respondents, 63% say they’ll be spending less on gifts this year.

Six out of ten gift givers say they’re say they’re likely (17% very/41% somewhat) to give a charitable gift this holiday season, while four in ten (41%) are not likely (13% not at all/28% not very).

It’s hard to knock the charitable gift idea. Even those who don’t really want it would be unlikely to complain, lest they look petty and selfish.

Whatever you decide to do, you should probably know that nobody really wants a mug with your company logo on it.

Source: http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=6678

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