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How to Give a Meaningful Gift to Your Boss (or Colleagues)

07Dec 2012

Now is the time when many of us are starting to think: “I’d like to get my boss a gift for Christmas — just a little something — but what?  I don’t want it to look like I’m trying to gain her favor.  But I don’t want just to give her some token ‘something’ that will look schmaltzy.  (And I don’t want to spend a lot on it.)  What could I get her?”

I think I have a good option for you.  But, first, let me frame the scenario:

  • Most of us don’t need another “thing” (or the “things” we want are fairly expensive).
  • Really, the goal of the gift is to show that you value and appreciate your boss (or colleague).
  • We want to show that we thought of them, and took some time and effort to get a gift that would be meaningful.
  • There are lots of people in the world who really do need a gift.
  • Often, one of the most meaningful gifts can be a gift in honor of the recipient.

So, here is my suggestion.  Give a gift to World Vision Micro to help fund a loan for a Third World entrepreneur (all it takes is $25).  You can choose the businessperson (they are more frequently women) who needs a small loan that will help them build their business and which often leads them to hiring more employees.  For example, you can help Olivia in Ghana buy a second sewing machine so she can train and hire another woman to help her sew more uniforms for school children.  Or you can help Rowena in the Philippines to buy feed for her piglets.  There are lots of examples — and you get to choose who you want your donation to go to.

But that isn’t all.  When you give a gift  on our special “joint project” webpage then World Vision Micro will send you a free copy of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People which I co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman (author of the NY Times #1 bestseller, The 5 Love Languages).  And you’ll receive (ok, I’m feeling a bit like late night Ronco ads on TV now) an explanatory card that you can include that will explain that you gave a gift to help a Third World entrepreneur and received the book as a gift of appreciation from World Vision Micro.

So here are the benefits from this one donation that you give in honor of your boss (or colleague):

  1. You assist a business person in the Third World in a way that is respectful and supports their independence. (By the way, they pay interest, receive business training, and the loans have a 97% payback rate).
  2. You give a meaningful gift to your boss that honors them and their contribution to your life at work.
  3. You (and your boss) are exposed to and learn about a new way to share and support those who are in need.
  4. It is a quick process that you can do online, and saves you a lot of time shopping at the mall.
  5. You can share a valuable resource (the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace) that can be beneficial both to your boss and to those you work with. (Some people have stated they write a card with the book, saying: “You are already good at this – but I thought you might find this to be an interesting read.)  Just FYI, they send you the book directly with the explanatory card — you can choose to give the book to your boss, to someone else (like your brother-in-law who is a manager at his job), or keep it for yourself!

So, give it a thought.  At least, go to the World Vision Micro website and see the projects available to support.  I think you will be inspired.


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